Things are gonna go disastrously wrong.
Sure, every presenter should bring their laptop, a wireless presenter remote, an array of video adapters, a stack of business cards, and so on. But that’s just assuming that things go right.
Here’s what I carry to help reduce the carnage when things go awry:
Slippery Elm throat coat lozenges. Speaking for an hour or more can burn your throat up, especially if you have to yell because the audio system isn’t working well. These things are like magic. I take one as a preventative measure when I start setting up my laptop, and I’ll scatter a few of ’em on the podium as reminders to myself in case I start to feel dry.
Caffeine-free Throat Coat tea. If I’m presenting for more than a couple of hours, I make myself some of this because it’s even better than the lozenges. I can’t rely on the venue having hot water near the speaker podium, though, so I’ll bring along a little hot water heater or a travel tea kettle.
Short 4 inch phone cable. First, venue Internet is rarely reliable, and if I want to show web pages or Twitter, I need to get online by tethering to my phone. Second, when I’m out and around at a conference, I’m probably running my phone hard, and it’s nice to be able to charge the phone for a while.
Spare batteries for my wireless presenter remote. I use a Kensington remote because I’ve seen the Logitech ones wig out when an attendee fires up a Logitech wireless mouse. (Probably not an issue for you unless you present all-day classes where attendees set up their laptops.)
USB flash drive with presentations. Before going out on a trip, I copy my entire presentation folder onto it. If something goes wrong with my computer, or if I hose up a presentation accidentally, this drive is a Plan B. I use a Mac, but this drive is formatted with FAT so I can open it on an attendee’s Windows machine if I have to.
Small food bars. Conference food schedules don’t usually line up with when I’m hungry, so I’ll chow down on one of these before I present.
Single-serving packets of lens wipes, pain relievers, and antacid. I know, now I’m starting to sound paranoid, but these things come in incredibly handy. I don’t want to carry whole pill bottles or boxes around, so even though this packaging is more expensive, it’s just handy.
I toss all this stuff into a plastic bag, and then put one in each of my laptop bags and carry-ons. When I come back from a trip and I unpack my laptop, I replenish the zip-top bag and throw it back in.