I carry this tech bag with me every time I give a presentation. It has saved me countless times of having the embarrassment of not being able to connect my laptop to the venue’s AV system (see a later blog post of setting up your laptop for presentations). Plus as a professional speaker I think it’s my responsibility to be as fully equipped as possible.
Currently the clear zip bag and contents weigh 800g and are no bigger than an A4 piece of paper and the thickness of 3cm. My philosophy is to be over prepared so the majority of the items rarely get used. But 1 time in a 100 they save the day.
The second photo contains:
- 1.5m long VGA cable (male to male). A standard cable to connect a laptop to projector.
- Female to Female VGA connector. This comes in handy when I want to extend the cable or if I need to convert my male ended cable to have a female end.
- Remote control receiver and transmitter. I use a small Keyspan device that is ultra reliable, small enough to comfortably hold without being obvious and has a volume control including mute. Never buy Infra red remote controls as they work on line of sight. RF remotes are the way to go.
- Spare batteries for the remote control.
- USB extension cable (male to female). This is handy in very large venues where the laptop is connected at the back of the room. The cable can be connected to the remote receiver and then used to raise the receiver up higher to increase reception. In some presentations I use a webcam to act as a visualiser and so the USB extension can be used to increase the webcam’s range of movement.
- USB Memory stick with the presentations stored in case of laptop failure.
- A caretakers or cleaners key to switch lights on. This came about from a recent event where the theatre venue’s tech guy hadn’t arrived, the theatre was in darkness and I needed to setup. To operate the lights you needed one of these keys – so I had to wait. So after the event I went online and purchased a key for that rare occasion to repeat itself.
- 3.5mm male jack to 3.5mm male jack cable.
- 3.5mm male jack to phono cable.
- Ground loop isolator. With some audio systems there is a really annoying hiss in the system when a laptop is connected. The ground loop isolator helps reduce this significantly.
- 3.5 female jack to 3.5 female jack connector. Useful to extend cables.
- The other connectors and mini cable are useful when connecting up the ground loop isolator, using a DI box or for strange sound desk inputs.
- DI box. Ideal for sending audio over long distances and reducing electrical pick up noise.
- XLR cable.
- XLR (male and female) to jack converters.
In addition to the above I will, if the venue requires, bring my own Projector and lapel radio mic system.