grab bag

Every good presenter carries a grab bag stocked with (nearly) everything they will need to deliver a great presentation. The reasons for this become apparent if you give more than one presentation.

Of course, there is no perfect list of contents in a grab bag but, over time, I have come to value having this lot. I’ll work thru’ them and explain what’s what. There are links to various sites I’ve purchased them from. (no conflict of interest altho’ would love sponsorship!)


grab bag

1. Laptop of choice. Currently MacBook Air Pro with (Great Wave of Kanagawa cover)

You need to connect YOUR laptop to display systems. I have listed the appropriate Mac Thunderbolt extensions for MY laptop. Buy your own. This is essential.

2. Thunderbolt to HDMI 

3. HDMI female to female coupler (useful if plugging into wall socket rather than directly to projector/computer)

4. Thunderbolt to VGA (named. these things are precious.)

5. Kensington bluetooth remote control (and spare batteries) (Read here why you NEED one)

6. Power source for laptop (always plug yours in on stage. trust me)

7. Standard power source converter for US/Canada

8. Twistplus international adaptor, MacPower AND USB power hub (wonderful gift from Ken Milne)

9. usb 1 with spare copy of presentation

10. SD card usb with another copy of presentation

11. USB to anything power/data cable

12. Moo mini business cards (compulsory in Japan but actually very useful at the end of presentation)

13. bootable OS usb (in at unlucky 13. seriously, 1 hour before big presentation Macbook wants to update. Noooooo!)

14. Notebook (where the ideas take shape)

15. Nice pen. (the best ideas come from the nicest pens)

16. sunglasses bag for holding cables, usbs, ‘n’ stuff.

17. What have I missed out from YOUR bag?


My grab bag itself is Everyday Sling (10L) from Peak Design that fits all that lot comfortably plus more. Protects everything and is very comfortable. Ready to go and give my next presentation…

grab bag


  1. Gary Bandy

    I have a few other things.
    1. A Lightning to HDMI connector so I can run the presentation from my iPad or iPhone if I need to
    2. An X-mini speaker
    3. An audio cable with 3mm jack plugs
    4. A lapel microphone (if I want to record my presentation onto my phone)

    1. ffolliet (Post author)

      Thanks Gary. Yes, I also have a Bluetooth speaker if I include audio and have concerns about AV at a presentation plus requisite cables for that.

      Which lapel mike to you use? Plugged into what? Salim Rezaie has a specific mike for his iPhone for that purpose I believe?

      1. Gary

        It’s an Audio Technica Omni ATR3350. I plug it into my iPhone and use the Voice Memo app to record what I’m saying.

  2. Tim Leeuwenburg

    Second the mic for p3 – if it all goes to crap and slides are lost, I still want to deliver effectively.

    This is totally kyboshed if the AV is straitjacketed as podium mic or just a handheld mic.

    Having own lapel or better still a headset mic is worth the investment.

    Interested in others’ thoughts and tips on this

  3. Sheila B Robinson

    What a great list and excellent suggestions from other commenters! My low tech add-on for this is a roll of painter’s tape. I use it to stick chart paper to walls (especially in hotel ballrooms/conference rooms), and occasionally to tape cords/cables to various places.

    1. ffolliet (Post author)

      I’m sure a bag is never complete but that does seem like a lightweight and valuable addition!


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