I like to keep things simple when I can. And that principle is particularly true when I have to give a presentation at a meeting or conference. (Admittedly, it is not my strongest skill.) One way to achieve simplicity for your next presentation with your notebook computer (or tablet) is with the Windows Mobility Center, which is generally included in portable computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7.This blog post is also available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download. The best way to reach the Windows Mobility Center is with the shortcut keystroke combination of [Windows Key]+[x]. That keystroke combination should take you to a control dashboard similar to the one shown Figure A.
Open the Windows Mobility Center.
As you can see from Figure A, there are several key shortcuts to configuration and properties screens commonly found within the Windows Control Panel. The Windows Mobility Center aggregates them into one simple dashboard control for you.
PreparationIn preparation for a presentation, for example, you may have to configure your notebook computer for an external display like a large LCD screen or a projector. The External Display control is on the dashboard, and clicking the Connect Display button will let you decide how you would like to configure your display (Figure B).
Configure your external display.The other control useful for giving a presentation is the Presenting Settings section on the Windows Mobility Center dashboard. Click the projector icon to get to the Presentation Settings dialog control panel, shown in Figure C.
Access the Presentation settings.
Here you can make changes to how your notebook computer will behave during your presentation. One of the more useful settings is the Turn Off the Screen Saver check box. With that box checked, you can avoid interruptions to your presentation because your screensaver is set to start after only a few minutes of inactivity.
You can also set the background image to something more appropriate to the situation. For example, if you are like me, you often have personal images for your background, and it might be better to have a background image specific to the meeting or conference where you are presenting.
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Giving a presentation can be a little nerve-racking (I know it is for me), so any tools you can use to alleviate tension are a welcome addition. The Windows Mobility Center is just one built-in tool that can help you in that regard and make your presentation go just a bit smoother.
Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.