Hey Presenters! Is that your desktop showing?


How to prevent pesky pop-ups during presentations.

Presenters are power-users. It’s obvious from the number of open and backgrounded apps that dot their toolbars or bounce ceaselssly for attention.

It doesn’t matter if I’m at a live conference or a virtual one - I keep seeing the same pattern over and over: multiple open apps, multiple browser tabs, interestingly named client files, unread email alerts, Facebook notifications, Dropbox syncing, and an IM from Joe who wants to know “wassup buddy?” There’s usually a picture of a dog, or a cat or a baby (presumably related to the presenter) in the middle of the desktop ringed by icons or tiled ad infinitum.

Except for the voyeur-ish glee I get from seeing what other people use for their everyday tools, these same tools distract from the presentation and slow down the machine.

Here’s an easy fix: create a new user profile!

Keep one user profile as your personal profile and create another as a business profile. Creating a separate profile for business has a number of advantages to minimize distractions without compromising your day-to-day desktop:

  • you can use a professional username

  • your desktop can remain clean and clutter free

  • you keep only the programs you need

  • you can display a business wallpaper with your company logo

  • it’s easy to turn off notifications you don’t need

  • you’ll minimize distractions to your audience without compromising your power tools

Further, I have noticed that when my pc starts to drag too much, creating a new user profile speeds things up considerably. It's like having a new computer all over again (yes, I use ccleaner and clean out my temp files, but it doesn’t seem to help as much as this).


If you use fast-user switching, keep in mind that having multiple profiles at once uses additional resources. So, if you have an aging laptop, it’s probably a good idea to logout of your personal profile before logging into your business profile. Also, if you didn’t install your program for all users, you may need to re-install for your new users.

Here are some articles to get you started: Mac OS X, Win 7, Win 8

Perhaps it’s just my personal peeve. It’s not the end of the world if you're still using a personal desktop to project your presentations, but here’s one more way to polish that presentation you’ve worked so hard on and make it shine just a little brighter.




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