Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NEVER CHANGE RESOLUTION BEFORE A PRESENTATION!

I had the honor of speaking at SQL Saturday #62 this past weekend in Tampa.
It's only the second time I've presented using my Windows 7 laptop and the first time I presented using the Presenter View in Powerpoint 2010.  We still run Windows XP at work so I don't use Windows 7 on a daily basis.  I arrived early to setup for my presentation, connected the projector and booted the laptop.  The laptop auto set the resolution to 800x600. I didn't like the setting so I increased the resolution to a higher level and started up the presentation and went into Presenter View.  Cue foreboding music...


By this time, the first attendees started rolling in.  I looked at the first few slides to check everything was OK and then went back to the first slide in the deck.  I started my presentation, got to the fourth slide on the deck and the picture was missing!  The next slide was blank!  WTF?  The slides looked good in the ribbon at the bottom of Presenter View but weren't rendering correctly on the screen or in the Presenter View's left pane. 


Needless to say, this really threw me off.  Thankfully, one of the attendees suggested I switch to the editor view and present from that.  So, I muddled through the rest of the presentation and my demos.  Despite my PowerPoint woes, I did receive decent reviews via Twitter but I was not happy. I had to figure out what went wrong. I kept thinking and talking about it with other people for the next couple of hours.  


Finally, I thought changing the resolution might have been the crux of the issue.  I went back in the room during the lunch break and plugged my laptop into the projector.  This time, I did not touch the resolution.  The deck displayed correctly.  Head slap!


So, the sole purpose of this post is to save some other speaker newbie from repeating this mistake.  


Thanks to @BrentO for his post on Presenter View and @mrdenny and @brianwmitchell for their input while I was trying to figure this out.