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Among the various tools that speakers may opt to use when conducting a presentation is the laser. Personally, I’ve never felt the desire or need to add this to my arsenal of speaking tools but I often coach clients who make use of a laser.  In fact, this week while one of my clients was practicing her presentation with me, she used a laser during her slide show.

Ten laser considerations to assist you:

1. Most remote controls have a built-in laser, which you may find quite convenient.

2. Your mouse may be used as a laser simply by holding down the Control key and left clicking on your mouse.

3. You have three color options for your laser by first choosing Slide Show and then selecting Set Up Slide Show on the tool bar. (Color choices are red, blue and green.)

4. If you use a laser, be sure to put it down when not in use so it doesn’t become something you start to play with.

5.  Some audience members may find your use of a laser visually distracting which defeats the purpose of using it. (This distraction may lead to headaches.)

6. Every time you employ a laser, you’ll turn your body away from your audience and run the risk of losing eye contact.

7. If you feel a need to draw your listener’s attention to a particular aspect of your slide, an alternative to using a laser is to create a “call out” right on your slide.  One good example would be a large, thick, or colored arrow, which works very effectively.

8. Keep in mind that the more cluttered or busy your slide is, the greater the need to use a laser pointer.  Therefore, it behooves us to create lean slides  that are easily viewed, which eliminates the need to have a bouncing red light from a laser.

9. Using a telescopic pointer is another viable alternative.  It’s less distracting and gives you more control.

10. Text build is an effective way to highlight information on a slide. With this technique, rather that revealing the entire content of the slide at once, you control what the audience sees by remotely clicking on each aspect as you discuss it.

Now you have 10 considerations when it comes to using a laser pointer.  Always remember that options exist when you want to be a laser-sharp speaker.

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