Laser pointer tips for presenters

Do you use a laser pointer during your presentations, to highlight something on the projected screen?

It could be a specific data point on a chart or a number in a table.  I have a laser pointer inside my presentation remote, the Kensington Wireless Presenter (33373) and “occasionally” I use the built-in laser pointer.

If you like to use a laser pointer when presenting, you should do it with a bit of care and follow these two tips:

  • Make sure you limit the movements to the bare minimum and turn off the laser pointer after you have indicated the item you want to highlight.  Presenters who insist on circling around and around the items on the screen and move the pointer all over the slide think they are focusing the audience’s attention, but in fact, they may cause everyone’s head and eyes to spin and get distracted.  Some speakers even forget they have the laser turned on and move their hand while dangerously pointing the laser beam everywhere.
  • If you hand shakes too much,  maybe because you are a bit nervous, it might be better to find an alternative way of highlighting items on the screen, for example by
  1. using arrows and different colors directly within the PowerPoint presentation
  2. enlarging the font size to increase readability
  3. breaking the information into multiple slides or  building a specific slide for each point you want to highlight

The same problems can happen during a webcast, this time it’s not the laser pointer but the mouse pointer.  Try to limit the mouse movements when you are recording or presenting to a live Internet audience.  Here as well too many movements can be very distracting.