AV & IT Requirements

Whether live or virtual, Ken normally leverages multiple layers of video, animation, sound effects and music for his presentations, along with real-time online polling. For the best experience, we want everything to flow smoothly — so please ensure that the front-line A/V technicians at the venue have had a chance to see this page well in advance of the event itself!

Ken’s MacBook near the Stage

macbook

Configuring the real-time polling and Apple Keynote software, and transferring gigabytes of video and slides, means it just isn’t practical to use the venue’s computers or present from a USB stick. Please ensure that Ken can run his presentation from his own laptop, and preferably from a position near the stage or podium so that he can make adjustments to polling results on the fly as necessary, or skip sections of the presentation in order to stay on time. (If the laptop has to be at the back of the auditorium, we do run the risk that the session could run overtime by 10-20 minutes.)

Projection

Depending on the size of audience, we’ll want at least one large video monitor or projection screen. We want participants to get the maximum impact from visuals, video clips, graphs and slides so please ensure we have adequate brightness on the projector, and as much as possible mask off light sources that could wash out the screen (pot lights, spot lights, windows and skylights). Frankly, it’s OK if the stage or podium has less light, so long as it makes the slides more visible. Although more and more venues have widescreen monitors or projectors, so far the majority still use standard 4:3 screens, so Ken’s slide decks remain 4:3 to date.

VGA Connection

We get consistently reliable results using a standard VGA connection for Ken’s laptop.  (Ken always brings along a Mac adaptor.) If that is not possible, we can connect standard HDMI directly to the laptop but this is definitely sub-optimal (because it usually restricts Ken’s ability to control the audio volume, depending on the specific devices being used). Please note that, even with strong broadband wifi, every time Ken has tried to use wireless connections to monitors or projectors (even Apple’s own AirPlay) the results have been pretty disappointing, because full-motion video stutters and jumps, and often audio and video fall out of sync. Again, we can use wireless projection if that is the only option, but the results may be disappointing.

Audio Amplification

Ken’s slides use sound effects and background music throughout, and video clips with interviews or demonstrations. We will always need some form of amplification for the laptop audio, either through a sound mixing board or simply a pair of large desktop speakers.  Ken’s MacBook uses a standard 3.5mm headphone jack for audio output.

Because Ken is often presenting for hours a day, days in a row, a wireless lapel mic will help preserve his voice and allow him to be heard without needing to shout. Obviously in a room of 20 people or fewer, a microphone is probably unnecessary, but when the audience is more than 20, and especially when a workshop approach will generate plenty of background noise, a mic is pretty much required.  We’ll get the most dynamic presentation with a wireless mic that allows for maximum mobility, and Ken requests mics in the following order of preference:

Mics in order of preference
1) Wireless lapel  2) Wireless over-ear  3) Wireless handheld  4) Dual-ear  5) Wired handheld (long cable)  6) Stationary podium mic

Internet Access

Ken usually makes use of PollEverywhere to make keynotes and workshops more interactive for participants.  To use this software, Ken will require wifi or wired internet access, either through a public network or using a guest ID and password for the day. The faster the connection speed, the smoother the resulting graphs will be in his presentation. The more participants in the room using the wifi, the more we may slow down a connection without high bandwidth. Participants should be encouraged to bring a smartphone, tablet, laptop or even a “dumb phone” with SMS texting capability.

Polling

Distance Delivery

If you are planning a virtual keynote or presentation, please see the technical requirements here.

Video Recording

Some campuses choose to video record or simulcast Ken’s presentations, and this is permitted so long as video and/or slides are not posted publicly on the web, and a copy of event video is provided to Eduvation on DVD or as a downloadable link. Because Ken will be using his own MacBook to present, you will need a video splitter in order to capture slide output in real time. If you want to use memory-resident software to broadcast the slides to a remote location, we will need to test that software in advance to ensure it does not conflict with the other tools Ken uses.

Slides Afterwards

Ken will provide a PDF of his slides after the event, which can be distributed to participants or others within your institution, but must not be posted publicly on the web. It will incorporate the results of any real-time polling done with your group, and web URLs to source video and other materials referenced in the presentation.

Workshop Logistics

Typically more interactive sessions work best with participants seated in “half rounds” at tables of 5 to 8 people.  Depending on the agenda and exercises, it is often useful for each table to have a flip chart and stand, markers and 50-100 square 3×3″ post-it notes.  When we are using flip charts, typically a roll of masking tape is also essential, unless the flip charts have self-adhesive pages.  In a room with more than 5 tables, it is usually also important to have at least one wireless handheld mic for participants to use when asking questions, or reporting in after a table discussion. We should discuss these logistics as we develop the detailed agenda for your workshop.

If in doubt, please ask!

If you are the front-line A/V tech or IT professional responsible for setting up the room, and this page has not adequately answered your questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Ken directly at ken@eduvation.ca.  We will work to improve this page based on your feedback, if it is unclear or incomplete. Thank you!

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