PowerPoint connections

Connections to make it work

So, you’ve built your PowerPoint presentation, it’s looking good, you’ve even tested that the various effects work seamlessly… and then you turn up at the venue only to find that you’re unable to connect your laptop to the projector that the venue has available & this is in spite of the fact that you’d confirmed that they had the relevant connections!

It was a meeting at one of my client’s last week which prompted this post – he’d just purchased a new projector to match the new offices & training suite that he’d opened, but wanted some advice on which cables to purchase to ensure robust connectivity; he’s quite unusual… many centres simply provide the cables that come with the projector… if any at all!

To be fair, this is one of the reasons why I & many others who are regularly needing use of a projector invest in one to keep in the boot of the car – it’s your tech & you know how to use it… but what if you have to use someone else’s tech?


HDMI is the latest technology & provides a high definition image & many modern laptops only have an HDMI connector; but what if they have VGA… or the other way around?


Initially, the choice will, very simply, come down to what connections are available on your laptop. If, as in the case with my latest piece of kit, you’re restricted to HDMI – given the increasing attempts to lighten the physical weight of laptops, more & more will only be providing this option, then that’s your starting point & it’s probably worth carrying a couple of HDMI cables & a connector to join these together in your bag

If you’re not using your own projector, then it may well be that the projector that you have to use at the venue only has a VGA connector… in which case an HDMI to VGA converter will be essential…

This is the one I got from the helpful people at Pimoroni https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/raspberry-pi-hdmi-to-vga-converter


If you decide to purchase your own projector, try to ensure that it has as many connections as you can afford; this is the one that I use & as you can see it has plenty of connectors including both HDMI & VGA. In addition, it’s designed for wide screen projection (to match the layout that my computer has so that presentations don’t look “squashed”. If you’re prepared to pay more, then you can have 3D ready, lots of other connectors, smaller size, etc – at the end of the day, the key thing is: can you connect to it & is it bright enough? The projector that I use – an Epson EB-W05 WXGA (https://www.epson.co.uk/products/projectors/mobile/eb-w05) is 3,300 lumens & that’s bright enough to see an image very clearly & bright in a room with all the lights on.

Point and click

When delivering your presentation, you can choose to use a mouse (as I used to), but it’s far easier with a pointer – it frees you up & even has a laser pointer to allow you to draw people’s attention to areas of your slides

You just need to ensure that you’ve enough USB connectors on your laptop to plug it in…

So, a few pointers to ensure that, when onsite, you can actually connect up to deliver the presentation & ensure that all of that hard work wasn’t in vain!