Matt Langford

Public Speaking Equipment

Due to the nature of my job, I frequently do public speaking. From experience, many people who speak often are very particular about the equipment/supplies they use. For some, that could include a particular 3-ring binder to hold their notes. For others, it may include a complex workflow powered by Shortcuts and other apps.

Personally, I probably lean to the more complex side of things. I put a lot of thought in attempting to connect with the audience. Eye contact, no barriers, no distractions. Because of this, I prefer to not use a podium/lectern. Unfortunately, I'm not the type that can memorize a manuscript. I need an outline at least. I'm going to walk you through my process.

Before I begin writing, I typically have an idea where I'm going. So I open up my text editor of choice (BBEdit for me, but any would work) and begin to create a very unstructured outline. Think of it as a brain dump. I want to start here, take a turn here, and end up here. This personal story would fit in nicely here. And this joke would go great here. Once I've got all of the thoughts down, I clean it up and structure it. I eliminate the weak spots, enhance the strengths, optimize for time, etc. I save and file this for future reference.

Next, I simply paste the outline into Teleprompter Premium on my iPad. While not perfect, this app allows me to set font size, scroll speed, and colors. Best of all, it works with most bluetooth remote controls. Some use teleprompter apps to deliver a line-for-line presidential style speech. That's not my style. I use one simply as prompts to get me to the right thought. Because of that, I want to have full control over it myself. Pause when I adlib. Speed up when I skip a section. Scroll at the perfect speed when I need to read a quote or passage. My remote of choice is a Logitech R500s.

Depending on the venue, I can either position my iPad in a discrete location or (ideally and normally) AirPlay to a confidence monitor. At most locations, slides are controlled by someone else using ProPresenter.

When I'm speaking at a venue that allows me to use my preferred microphone, I bring a Shure DH5.

As a backup, I always have printed notes stashed within reach. Lastly, you can't go on stage without access to a bottle of water.

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