Instructional Technology Newsletter 7 – Hosting a Successful Guest Presentation on the Mary Baldwin Campus

Reid Oechslin, Instructional Technology

August 2013

“I’ll be down next week for the presentation. It’s a PowerPoint, so you won’t have to worry about anything.”

“Great! See you then!”

Don’t hang up the phone or archive the email. You’re not ready for your guest yet. There are several questions that need to be asked and answered to make sure that both you and your guest is going to get what each is expecting of the other:

Does your guest expect to use his or her own laptop for the presentation? Is it a Mac or a PC? If it’s a Mac, is your guest bringing a video adapter so it may be plugged into one of our projectors? Over the years, Apple has used five different video connectors on their laptops, only one of which is compatible with the 15-pin PC-style connectors (see photos below) called “VGA” that we commonly use here. Since these adapters (about $20) are so specific, and they tend to walk away by themselves, Mary Baldwin does not supply them. Your guest must bring one. If your guest is bringing a PC laptop, make sure the laptop has a VGA connection on it. The only places that we can accommodate HDMI, the alternative to VGA connections, is Francis Auditorium and Miller Chapel. If your guest expects to use his or her own laptop to access the Internet, they will need a Guest Account ( to join the Mary Baldwin network by Wi-Fi.

If your guest expects Mary Baldwin to provide a computer, and will be bringing the presentation on a flash/jump/thumb drive, the presentation files must be able to run on a Windows 7 PC running Microsoft Office 2010 or current Adobe Reader software. We don’t have any loaner Macs. We do have several PC laptops for multimedia presentations where a computer is not already installed. They can be booked along with other multimedia services and equipment (like PowerPoint “clickers,” which wirelessly advance the slideshow) at

Does your guest expect a PA system? Please work with your guest to determine whether one is needed. Francis Auditorium is designed to be a lecture hall so that a person speaking in a somewhat loud voice can be heard without amplification, but for a long speech, a soft-spoken person, or a full house, the PA system can be used. If that seems necessary, the standard microphones in Francis are handheld and wireless. For other types of wireless microphones (lavalier and headworn), a multimedia booking must be made.  Speakers in Miller Chapel are usually heard without amplification, except when the air conditioning is running full tilt. We’ve never had to use amplification in the Reigner Room or the King 107/108 conference rooms. Small groups in the Nuthouse work fine, but large groups usually need some sound reinforcement.

If your guest plans to use our technology to do something fancier than the things mentioned, please email as far in advance as you can, so that we can coordinate what needs to be done.  Then you can say, “Great! See you then!”



VGA connector                                                              VGA connector


HDMI connector                                                    HDMI connector