In order to make the slides for my presentations, I have to work with one of my access assistants. The first step in the process is for me to create an outline of my presentation that my access assistant can then transfer into PowerPoint slides. Once the slides are prepared, I sit down with my access assistant and he or she describes the content on the slides. We discuss any potential changes or additions to the presentation, which are completed before the next step of the process.
In order to present, I need to memorize each slide. In addition to memorizing the content, I also need to remember the flow of the slides and the timing, so that I forward the slide at the correct spot. To make this process easier, my presentations are prepared without any animations, which tend to be overwhelming. Sometimes, I also use my Braille notetaker, so that I can have some small notes handy during my presentation. This is especially useful if my presentation contains a lot of numbers or equations and minimizes the need for memorization.
When I'm ready to begin my presentation, I introduce myself to the audience and I also inform them that I am blind. I emphasize that I'm unable to see them nod their heads or raise their hands, and it's necessary for them to make a verbal response. Some folks might be hesitant at first to interrupt me in the middle of my talk, but I find that generally, the audience is very engaged.