I’m in transition from using transparencies on an overhead projector to using PowerPoint on a data projector. I’ve always loved the flexibility of using transparencies. With them, I can change sequencing in a blink of an eye to suit the needs of any audience without scrolling through endless screens. So, my author visit hosts smile about my quaint request for overhead and do their best to dig one out and dust it off for me.
But I was really thrown last spring when the librarian couldn’t scare up an overhead projector in the school district (yes, not just the school, but the whole district!) I did happen to have my show on a flashdrive, but they couldn’t get the computer to “talk” to it. Then they offered me a document camera and invited me to put my transparencies under it. The problem was that the shiny surfaces of my images reflected back and washed out the colors. So finally, I put my “real” books under the camera as the kids were filing in, and the assembly began. (Good thing I always arrive 45 minutes early to test equipment!) It was a bit awkward, but the experience gave me the kick in the pants I needed to move to new technology.
So here’s my new Backup Plan:
Plan A: I carry my own skinny Casio data projector and tiny Acer netbook with me with my PowerPoint show loaded and ready to go.
Plan B: I tuck a backup of my PowerPoint in my bag on a flashdrive.
Plan C: I bring along a few transparencies (and of course my books) to pull out if all else fails.
But really, if all else really does fail (and it rarely does), I have my voice. I’m a storyteller. And I think we can make it through just fine!