When Plan A Fails: The Surefire Way to Back-up Your Presentation

June 8, 2015

A few weeks ago we discussed back-up items and devices you’ll need when giving your next presentation. Those tools are easy to switch in and out in the event if it’s only one device that decides to fail on you. But, what about when two or all items decide to not work when you need them most? I can speak to this personally because it happened to me earlier this week.

In these rare instances, I have 3 main presentation configurations. The 2 alternatives outside of my main set-up are not ideal, but they get the job done.

For starters, here’s my primary set-up:



This is my go-to configuration. I have this set-up about 95% of the time. All items listed here are incredibly reliable and rarely fail me.

Main Device: MacBook Air (13” model)

Remote Device: Logitech R-800

Software: Keynote

Speakers: I usually rely on the room’s external speaker configuration.

Adapter: Mini-Display to VGA

When the above set-up starts to act or perform in a questionable manner (it’s rare, but it happens), I’ll start strongly considering going to my Plan B.



Assuming I have terrible luck and none of the above work, I still have ways to present my material. I have this back-up configuration ready to go at all times.

Main Device: iPad Mini

Remote Device: Satechi Bluetooth (need to run Bluetooth given the limited USB potential of an iPad)

Software: Keynote App for iPad

Speakers: Bose SoundLink

Adapter: Lightning to VGA

I don’t mind using this above set-up since the technology in tablet devices is fairly robust these days and provides everything I need for something like a presentation. It would be abnormal for this set-up to fail, but if it does, I then resort to Plan C.



Opting for this back-up plan is indeed rare, and I have yet to personally deploy it but I have it ready when needed. It’s not much different than Plan B and is equally as effective.

Main Device: iPhone 6 Plus

Remote Device: Finger swipe (no remote option for this one; prefer to hold the phone in my hand and swipe)

Software: Keynote App for iPhone

Speakers: Bose SoundLink

Adapter: Lightning to VGA

The good news is that you will rarely need to tap into your Plan B or C set-up since most items can be switched out individually. If the batteries in your presentation remote die, you can simply replace them or switch out the remote entirely. If Keynote isn’t working, you can migrate to PowerPoint instead. These are all easy change outs. However, sometimes life just happens and when it does you need a completely different action plan.

I would love to hear more about your back-up configurations. What has worked well for you?

READ MORE: 5 Essential Back-Up Devices to Bring to Every Presentation

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.

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