How to use a USB flash drive for PowerPoint presentations

Wondering how to use a USB flash drive for PowerPoint presentations? If you need to make a presentation, it’s a good idea to bring along a USB flash drive, available from stores like Amazon  (aff). Whether it’s your main way of connecting to the presentation or a backup plan, having a one of these inexpensive devices can reduce stress.

Many presenters like to bring their own computer and simply plug it into the existing projector when they meet with a client, speak at an event or give a lecture. But you may arrive only to find out that you need a special cord, that the promised cord isn’t working or that no one knows quite how to change the custom setup. Some organizations may have rules about who can touch the equipment.

For good measure, you may want to email yourself and the client copies of the presentation. With cloud-based email, you can simply log in and retrieve the presentation if neither your computer nor your USB flash drive turn out to work.

In any case, figuring out how to use a USB flash drive for your presentation in PowerPoint or other applications makes sense. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute if you’re asked to speak or present. After all, speaking can help build your expert status.

Here’s how to use a USB flash drive for PowerPoint presentations….

Step by step guide to how to use a USB flash drive for PowerPoint presentations

  1. First, obtain a USB flash drive. These come in all shapes, sizes and colors. I’ve personally had good results with this drive, which you can purchase through my Amazon affiliate link below:
  2. Prepare your presentation files. If you know for sure that PowerPoint or your presentation software will be available on the other computer, you can just bring along the raw files. However, because of version problems or even potential problems with transferring the file, it’s probably best to save your presentation as a .exe file, so that it can run on its own, without any external software.
  3. Insert the USB drive into your computer, using the USB port.
  4.  Transfer the PowerPoint or other presentation to your USB flash drive. It should show up as one of your available drives. You can either transfer the file by copying it or you can open the presentation and “save as” to your flash drive. If you’re using an .exe file, be sure to include everything you need.
  5. Open the USB drive using your file management software (e.g. Windows Explorer). Make sure the file is on the drive. Open it and make sure it works properly.
  6. Eject the USB drive. If you are using Windows, you should see an icon on the bottom of your screen. On a Mac, drag the drive to the trash.
  7. At the client site, insert the USB drive and open the file.
  8. For stability, you may wish to transfer the file to the client’s computer. USB drives run more slowly and may be less stable. However, many people run presentations right from the drive.
  9. When you’re done, don’t forget to eject the USB drive and take the file home with you. If you transferred a file to the client’s computer, you may also wish to delete it.
  10. If your files are sensitive, you may wish to encrypt them with a password.

Any tips to share? Learning how to prepare your flash drive for a presentation the first time may take a little patience, but you should get the hang of it and be able to do it with ease in future. Presenting helps build your credibility and feeling confident with tech will help.

Build  credibility with a solid plan for your consulting fees. Order my book, Consulting Fees: A Guide for Independent Consultants.

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