Yesterday I shared a list of books that might interest the trainer in your life. Today's list was inspired by Brian Washburn's post from yesterday. He reminded me of all the little things that come in handy as a training professional... even as a tech-savvy 21st century training professional. As a Boy Scout I've always remember to "Be Prepared". And so, this list is all of those little things that you may not need all the time but they sure come in handy when the need arrises.
Presentation Remote Control
My favorite is the Logitech Wireless Presenter R400. It's under $40 with all the basics, and not too many bells and whistles. I've actually owned many of these as they have a tendency to disappear at events. So maybe buy 2 if you can.
Most events will an IT staff armed with all the proper tech to get your laptop connected to the display. However, that's not always the case. And quite frankly it's not their job to make sure you're presentation goes off without a hitch. It's yours. So invest in just about every type of converter your device requires. Many laptops these days do not have RGB connections on them any more. Newer smaller connections types have replaced them, but you will still find older projectors that require the RGB connection. Mac laptops have the MiniDisplay Port or Thunderbolt connection. Your basic kit should include the ability to connect via RGB and HDMI connections. RGB connectors will get you into most projector setups. And HDMI is great if you end up in a conference room with only a big TV.
I have not tested this but it will connect your MiniDisplay Port to HDMI/DVI/RGB all in one connecter.
And what's a good training session without the ceremonial sniffing of the markers? Brian recommends the Mr. Sketch markers... as do I. I'm also a big fan of Sharpies but disappointed in their lack of scent. But other than that I really like the Chisel Tip 8-pack. Markers come in handy for just about anything that requires writing in a classroom environment for all to see.
Post-it notes should be standard for anyone's working gear bag. They are great for so many different classroom activities. You can stick them on walls, whiteboards, projector screens, tables, and so much more. They can also function as participant name plates in a pinch.
The standard 3"x3" post-it notes work great.
Scissors (or pocket knife)
Brian recommends a pair of scissors which probably travel better through airport security. But I prefer a good old fashioned pocket knife. Swiss army knives have always seemed over priced to me, so really anything similar will do. Since you'll probably be handing them over to security quite often, cheaper is better. However, while this does not fall under my category of cheap, this multi-purpose tool will keep you prepared for just about anything.
Pen Mini Screw Driver Tool
Probably not something everyone will understand. But these things are the handiest little gadgets in your kit. Especially if you're the geeky type of trainer that enjoys being able to fix things on the spot. Sure you could just call the local facilities guy, but what fun would that be. Get in there and fix it yourself.
The Trainer's Gear Bag
Do you have one? Of course you do. You need something to hold your laptop anyways so you might as well get a bag that can handle your supplies as well. But this item is hard to pick out one to recommend. Some people prefer one with wheels. Others prefer backpack style or messenger style. I've seen many many bags online that look great, but I've always just stuck with my favorite bbp brand. I have an old version of the bbq Hamptons Hybrid and it's still solid. I love how it can convert from backpack style to messenger style so easily.
What's in your Trainer's Emergency Kit? What have I left out? Let me know @Litmos.