5 Essential Back-up Devices to Bring to Every Presentation

May 26, 2015

Cover-blogMy position at Ethos3 requires that I travel a ton to give presentations all over the world. Given the constant change in environments and surroundings, I can always anticipate something not going quite as I had originally planned. I prepare for this by always packing my bag with not only back-up devices, but also back-ups for my back-ups. (This isn’t a joke!)

Check out the 5 essential back-up items I have with me in every presentation scenario.

1. Bose SoundLink

There are many instances where connecting to an organization’s external speakers are just not an option because they don’t exist or you have trouble connecting to them. When this happens, my Bose SoundLink is my go-to device. It’s small, compact and extremely portable. Plus, it sounds amazing and its 8-hour battery life and Bluetooth connectivity make it easy to add to my existing set-up.

2. Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector

It’s a very rare occasion when a television monitor fails or a light bulb in a projector dies out, but when it does happen, I’m glad I always have this in my backpack. It’s small, convenient, and has two hours of battery life when unplugged. It’s a perfect travel companion as a main or back-up device.

3. iPad Mini

I always present using my MacBook Air, but if it ever decides to die on me during a presentation, I have my iPad Mini as a back-up. Since items like the Satechi Bluetooth Remote now exist, presenting with an iPad can be just as flawless as presenting with a laptop because you aren’t forced to swipe every time you want to see a new slide.

4. WD My Passport

I love the cloud but connecting to the web isn’t always an option. That’s why I always carry an external hard drive with me. Yes, it’s a bit old school but it’s reliable. It has yet to fail me when I need to access a file and I don’t have a WiFi connection.

5. Keynote Remote

I love my Logitech Presenter R-800 but sometimes I forget to change out the batteries or I may accidentally leave it at the office. If this is the case, I turn to the Keynote Remote app on my iPhone. It’s not nearly as sophisticated as the Logitech device but it gets the job done in a moment of crisis.


At the end of the day, life happens. Devices break. Batteries die. Technology fails. You need a back-up plan. I hope some of these suggestions empower your own personal back-up plan.

Author Bio

Scott Schwertly is a 2x Ironman and CEO of Ethos3, a Nashville, TN-based presentation boutique providing professional presentation design and training for national and international clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to branded individuals like Guy Kawasaki. If Scott is not working with his team building presentations, you will find him in the pool, on the bike, or on a long run. Scott lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and three dogs. He has a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harding University.

Follow the conversation and connect with Scott on LinkedIn or Twitter.