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Can You Hear Me Now?

By Jennifer and Alexis


You are working on the computer and all of a sudden it freezes. This can be extremely frustrating, especially when you are in the middle of your event. Each and every one of us has had a moment where technology has failed us. If you are like me, the first reaction is to shut down……… and I am not talking about the computer.

But don’t shut down! Instead, jump into action. Let’s discuss some typical issues that can occur with AV equipment and how to counteract.

Issues with the projector system.

There are multiple issues that can occur when it comes to your presentation. One in particular could be the projector not working. Thus, causing your slide show to be unusable, and/or your visual aids becoming significantly reduced.

Plan B: Come prepared with printed versions of your power point so that everyone can follow along with you. If you had visual aids that you wanted to show, select a few and bring a couple of hard copies. That way, they can be passed around while you are presenting.

Issues with the microphones or sound system.

It can be distressing when a microphone or the sound system stops working. Although it is not ideal, there are several tricks that can help your guests hear you without a microphone.

Plan B: Ask your guests to sit in the seats closest to the stage (instead of spreading out) to make it easier for them to hear you. While you are presenting, make sure to drink a lot of water to help prevent throat strain.

Plan C: Use techniques like clapping patterns or waiting techniques (stop talking) to catch your audience’s attention.

But what about the band?

Plan B: Ask the band to only play one guitar while they are singing. That way guests can still enjoy the music and hear what song the band is playing.

Plan C: Ask the band to lead the worship music in acapella.

I know none of these plans are ideal, but they will get the job done in a pinch. Or until the issue can be fixed.

Interested in trying to prevent these problems? Here are some helpful recommendations to ensure that your presentation, whatever it may be, goes smoothly.

Pre-Event Recommendations

  1. Plan an on-site visit before your event. Check out your meeting space and the AV equipment. Make sure to bring any of the technology you plan to use at your event, such as your laptop, to ensure that it is compatible with the equipment. Furthermore, do a sound check and run through any video presentations. This will allow you to see if there are any bugs that need to be worked out. Better to have it happen at sound-check than during the actual event.
  2. If you are unable to make an advance site visit, call instead. There is usually someone available that can answer any questions you have. However, once you are on site, take time to make sure everything is connected correctly and that the AV equipment is working. Even if you did the advance site visit, double checking never hurts!

Now, I am not saying that issues will not occur if you follow these recommendations. Anything can happen, especially with technology. So, if you run into some problems with the AV equipment, here are some helpful tips to get things moving again!

When Issues Occur

  1. Turn everything off. Make sure all of the cords are connected correctly and securely. If you find any issues, like loose cords, fix them or ask for help. Then turn everything back on.
  2. If you are still having issues, check each component individually. This should allow you to pin point the issue. It could be a dead battery, a bad mic cord, an issue with the projector bulb or a piece of equipment may need to be swapped out.
  3. If you are still unable to find the problem, call for help. Our retreat centers are blessed to have people on site that can help you figure out any issues and get you going again.

Although, sometimes it is completely out of our control. There will be times that the issue cannot be immediately fixed. With that being said, it is always best to come prepared with a backup plan (or two).

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626