If like me, you make frequent presentations using Powerpoint or an equivalent tool, you will be familiar with the attendant hazards and pitfalls: Having to trot back and forth between podium and PC or laptop, changing a slide, then going back to the mike stand. ( if you are lucky you may be provided with a wireless lapel mike – but in the places where I tend to speak – colleges and schools mostly, this is a rarity). The option is to have someone standing by the controls and yelling “next slide!” at him or her… it never works for me because the whole business of outsourcing the task of slide change, increases my total talk time by at least 50 percent and I am in any case embarrassed having other people doing such physical tasks for me.
You exceed your allotted time ( which is most of the time!) and one of the organisers, makes frantic signals from the back of the toom or holds up a huge placard which reads “Time UP!” or, in the worst case, an impatient chairperson bangs out a loud warning on the bell. All very disrupting to the smooth and effortless flow of wisdom you were planning to transmit.
Which is why I am delighted to share my experience with a new presenter’s aid that Logitech has just introduced in India. Actually there are two models – but the cheaper one is a very limited answer to the travails described above.
The Logitech Professional Presenter offers an adjustable timer, displayed on a 1-nch LCD which silently vibrates when you have five, two and zero minutes left to present. Once the timer hits zero, it continues counting for up to 60 minutes and it is a very brave speaker who will engage an audience for that long beyond theallotted time without inviting a rain of paper missiles or whatever. You can walk around while speaking, within 100 feet (30 meters) and a reception-level indicator on the LCD keeps you from wandering too far. There is a green laser pointer to highlight specific information from across the room - with good visibility even on flat-panel displays and in bright rooms. The USB based receiver which you plug into the PC or laptop, fits snuggly into the main unit when you pack up.
The Logitech Wireless Presenter R400 is designed for a smaller room and provides a red laser pointer that is easy to see against most backgrounds. A battery power indicator ensures you always have the power you need to finish your presentation, while a range of up to 50 feet (15 meters) but there are no displays or timers.
The Logitech Professional Presenter R800 costs Rs 5595 and the Wireless Presenter R400 is priced at Rs 3395 and I would not even consider the cheaper option, because the timer and count down alarm is for me the killer app that makes the additional asking price ‘ paisa vasool’. Anand Parthasarathy
They are distributed in India by Rashi Peripherals Pvt. Ltd.