Here's a list of things I did on my computer before attaching the overhead projector to my MacBook. They're by no means best-practices, but they were in response to presentations I've seen before.
- Closed all email, instant messaging, RSS reader, and anything else that might bounce on the dock or send a Growl notification to the screen. At least two presenters either forgot to do this or left them on intentionally. Distracting! The only two applications that were open were the ones absolutely necessary to the success of the presentation: Keynote and Firefox.
- Pre-loaded all my websites I was going to show in browser tabs. It's better than typing in URLs and waiting for stuff to load, assuming you can get reliable speeds at a conference were a dozen people are already uploading their photographs.
- Disabled the Bookmark Toolbar, which has links to sensitive information. I didn't need it, otherwise I mis-click and give access to everybody in the room and watching online to my work areas.
- Deleted the browser URL history. Everybody has a URL or two that they're ashamed of. And if you're not, you're lying.
- The night before, I cleared my desktop of icon clutter. Nobody needs to know that I download The Wire via BitTorrent. Rather, nobody needs proof.
- Just before presenting, I tested that the presentation software (Keynote) will display the right thing in the right screen. I used someone else's presentation to make sure that the presenter's notes showed on my laptop screen and not the projector. For this I was lucky I was the first presenter, so I had time to do that. You might not have that luxury.
Forthcoming are what I think I did right during the presentation as well as what I could have done better or forgot to do.