The Clicker

May 28, 2024

When I was a kid, my family would visit my great-grandma Stonebraker, who was living in a nursing home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One thing I will never forget seeing there for the first time in my young life was a remote control for the television set!

Now, keep in mind, this was back when most of us had to get up from the couch, walk over to the TV and, with our fingers, turn the dial to see what else was on. Gen Z, can you imagine?

Nowadays, remote controls are everywhere. We use them to unlock and start our cars; to turn on the Christmas lights; and, in the world of communication, as a vital tool for PowerPoint presentations. 

More commonly known as “the clicker,” this small, handheld device is crucial in moving seamlessly from slide to slide while you’re presenting to an audience.

But, before you take the stage or the front of the room, you have some prep work to do.

First, familiarize yourself with the clicker. They all basically work the same way, but the layout of the buttons is slightly different on every device. If rehearsal time is scheduled, don’t skip it! This is the perfect time for you to get to know the clicker you will be using—right down to making sure it has a fresh battery.

Second, if you’ll be using a microphone, and you have the option, ask for a lavalier microphone that clips onto your jacket, blouse or dress shirt. You’ll already have the clicker in one hand and if you have to hold a microphone in the other, it limits your ability to use your hands effectively while delivering your key messages.

Third, know where the clicker will be when it’s your turn to present. The last thing you and your audience want while kicking off an important presentation is to be hunting around for the lifeline to your slide deck.

In our Wixted & Company training sessions, we recommend leaving the clicker right where it is until it’s time to change the first slide. We want nothing to be a distraction in the opening 90 seconds, which are critical to the success of your presentation.

Once you’re into your slides, avoid the habit of raising and pointing the clicker directly at the screen. These devices work through a wireless signal, and that signal will communicate with your computer regardless of where the clicker is pointed.

Lastly, don’t wait until you’re completely done talking about one slide before clicking to the next. As you’re wrapping up your last thought in the current slide, go ahead and advance to the next slide. That way, you’ll know what’s coming next, and the transition is usually much smoother.

For more help with delivering an excellent presentation, reach out to the team at Wixted & Company.



Wixted & Company Blog – by Jeff Johnson