Issue #2 March 12, 2002

1. Presenting Using Technology Tip

If you are using a data projector, make sure you know how to properly turn it off and pack it away. Many data projectors require a cool down period where the bulb is not on but the fan continues to run. This is usually done by putting the projector in Standby mode. The cooling down is important because if the projector is moved when hot or warm, it dramatically increases the chance that the bulb will break - and at over $700 for most of the bulbs, this is something you want to avoid. Newer projectors have a new bulb technology that allows them to be moved immediately after being turned off, but be careful because they will still be very hot. Check with the owner's manual of the data projector so you know what method to use.

2. Interesting way to use a Digital Video Camcorder

In the process of putting together a CD product that required sound files, I faced the issue of how to record the sound at a quality that was good, but also easily transferred to my PC for editing and incorporating into the PowerPoint file. We got a new Digital Video camcorder for Christmas and I discovered that I could record just my voice on the camera (the built-in microphone is quite good) and then transfer the audio track to my laptop using the video capture software that came with the laptop. This is much easier and far less expensive than a recording studio or buying the audio mixer, mic, etc. The quality is a little less than the professional set-up, but I think it will serve my needs quite well. If you got one of these camcorders recently and wanted to integrate sound into your communications, give this a try.

3. Useful Resource

When I am using software on my computer, I can never remember every command, especially the ones I use infrequently. One of the most useful resources I have found to help me are laminated summary sheets of the most common commands. The best ones that I have seen come from a company called BarCharts ( They have them for almost all of the popular software titles and even have one for Public Speaking. The charts are available through their web site but also at most college or university bookstores, as well as some Staples/Business Depot stores.