How to Set Up a Projector and Laptop for Presentations

Laptop with Projector
Caiaimage/Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Knowing how to properly set up a projector and laptop while traveling is important for mobile professionals. You should know how to do this yourself - you may not have anyone available to set it up for you. Even if the projector and laptop have been setup in advance for you, if you know what to check before your presentation you will know that everything will work properly. Proper setup and testing insures that everyone will view your presentation as you intended.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Start by making sure the laptop and projector are both turned off before you start trying to make any connections.
  2. Locate the video cable - it doesn't matter which end you connect to either device. Connect one end to the Projector “Computer In” port and connect the other end to the Video (external monitor) port on the laptop.
  3. Make sure both ends are securely connected and tighten if necessary. Use a screwdriver or small pliers to tighten the connectors. A loose connection at either end will prevent you from displaying your presentation.
  4. If your projector has a mouse for remote control, connect the cable to the laptop mouse port and then connect the other end to the Projector Mouse/Com port. If your projector uses an infrared remote, make sure the adapter is in place or that the devices are lined up correctly for the signal to be sent and received.
  1. Locate the audio cable and connect the audio cable included with the projector to the Audio Out on the laptop and Audio In on the projector. Make sure these connections are tight.
  2. Start your laptop and the projector. Make sure to check all connections to ensure they have been properly connected. Run through your presentation to make sure it looks the way you want and that sound (if used) is set to an acceptable level and works properly. Keep in mind that you want the sound to be louder so that it will be heard with a large group of people in the room.


    1. Always do a dry run of your presentation to check the device connections and to ensure other technical aspects are ready.
    2. Be prepared in case of power outages by having sufficient battery backup available for the laptop and projector.
    3. Take a deep breath and start your presentation when your audience is present.

    What You Need:

    • Laptop.
    • Projector and remote control.
    • Audio and video cables.
    • Power Cords and power adapters.
    • Extension cords.
    • Extra batteries.
    • Copy of your presentation on the laptop hard drive.
    • Copies of the presentation on removable media and extra blank media.
    • The correct number of copies of handouts for your presentation.
    • Screwdrivers and small pliers.
    Was this page helpful?