4:3 ratio vs 16:9

These two numbers are aspect ratios of images, which describe the proportional relationship between its width and its height. Two of the most common aspect ratios in still photography are 4:3 and 16:9. 16:9 allow for a larger viewable area and is the new...

Aisle mics

Microphones that are placed throughout the audience for questions during the presentation. Should be mounted on 5ft mic stands.

ARRI Lighting System

This is a type of lighting for video recording of presentations for web posting.  This is not used for the professional reproduction of keynote addresses or important presentations.  The lights sit on the stage floor near the presenter so the camera can pick up the...


An acronym that means audience response system, which is a system that allows a group of people to interact with each other and a presenter by voting on a topic or answering a question. Depending on the audience response solution chosen, each person has a device with...

Audio Snake Channel

An audio multicore cable (often colloquially referred to in the US and Canada as a snake cable or just a snake) is a thick cable which contains from four to 64 individual audio cables inside a common, sturdy outer jacket.


A measurement of the ability of an electronic communications device or system (like a computer network) to send and receive information.


This is a bracket to attach various pieces of equipment (lights, monitors, speakers) to structures such as truss towers or light...


A compressor helps control sound quality particularly for presenters who have soft voices but tend to pop or elongate consonants such as “P” or “S”.


A Cyc is a type of screen which is used as a backdrop for stage settings.  Uplights are often projected on a Cyc to add production value to the...


Distribution Amplifier.  A DA boosts the strength of a video signal and allows a video image to be split and sent to multiple screens.

DCS 200

400 etc.  This is a digital video switch.  When used with a laptop, it allows the technician to preview videos and PowerPoint presentations and switch inputs to different screens.  This switch can run a backup version of the presentation so that if there is a problem...

Delay Screens

These can be actual projection screens or large monitors which are placed further back in large rooms. These screens serve as secondary displays for remote areas of the room or solve sight obstruction problems for the...


Direct in Box – The DI amplifies the audio signal.  In large rooms, several DI’s might be required to keep the signal strength over long cable runs.


A velour backdrop, black or grey, that is used between the screens that should align with the top of the screens or can also have a step-down effect. The drapery show also extends from the outside the screen to the wall (if...

Dress Kit

Dress Kit creates a professional, theatre-like appearance by draping your screen with an eye-catching velour Dress Kit. Drapery curtains surround the viewing surface, pulling the audience’s focus to your presentation on the screen. In addition to framing your...


An Elmo is a modern alternative to an overhead projector.  Elmo’s allow additional media types such as paper, magazine articles, pictures and more to be projected onto screens – not just transparencies.

Equalizer (EQ)

The EQ controls sound on multiple bands and helps eliminate background noise. This unit is particularly helpful when multiple microphones are used such as during panel discussions.


The EtherCON is a ruggedized and lockable Ethernet over twisted pair wiring connector manufactured by Neutrik. It is designed for professional audio and stage lighting network applications.

Fold Back Monitor

This monitor allows the presenter to hear questions on stage from the audience.  It is actually a sound speaker facing the presenter, not a video monitor. It gets its name from old theater days when anything on stage was called a monitor.

Gaff tape

Or gaffer tape. This tape is made of tough cotton that’s pressure-sensitive and stays stuck. However, when its removed it does not leave a residue.


Colored cellophane capable of withstanding extremely high heat levels. Gels are placed in front of the lens of a lighting instrument to give color to the light.


A gobo is a metal or glass lens which is inserted into a light fixture to project the image on the lens onto a wall or screen. A metal gobo is less expensive and projects only in black or white. A glass gobo can have multiple colors. Many organizations use gobos to...


This refers to a microphone with a flexible neck that is most frequently attached to a podium or lectern. It is designed to allow the speaker to raise or lower the microphone to a suitable height.


Short for Image magnification. When a video camera is used to capture the image, and display it on the screen. Often used so everyone in the room can see what is happening on stage. This is only projection, not a video recording of the...


A lavalier microphone or lavalier (also known as a lav, lapel mic, clip mic, body mic, collar mic, neck mic or personal mic) is a small microphone used for television, theatre, and public speaking applications in order to allow for hands-free...

Lighting Tree

A structure consisting of an upright pole or truss and a crossbar from which to hang lighting instruments. These are floor supported.


The SI unit of luminous flux, equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela. Larger screen and rooms will require projectors with a higher lumen output.

Microphone runner

“Mic runners” as abbreviated, are those people that carry microphones and bring them to members of the audience with questions so that everyone in the audience can hear the questions.

Mix Monitor

This is a sound speaker that is placed on stage for vocal or band performances. This allows the performer to hear what they sound like to the audience during their performance. 


An audio mixer controls multiple types of microphones and interfaces with other audio speaker systems.

Mouse pointer vs laser pointer

The mouse pointer is shown on both screens using the mouse on the presenter podium. The laser pointer will be used to highlight information on one screen only and emits a green laser from a handheld device.

Podium or Lectern Light

A small light attached to the podium and includes options to turn the light fixture on/off. You will always want to make sure a podium light is there for your presenter to clearly read their notes.

Polycom (Audio and Voice)

Polycom is a company that makes a speaker/receiver table top phone-like communication device. This device allows you to invite callers while everyone in the conference room can interact with callers.  Its main use is for small conference rooms. Note: Polycom is now...

Power drop

Additional electrical power outlets to serve specific pieces of equipment. Used when there is not enough outlets or power in the room.

Powered speaker

The low-level audio signal is first amplified by an external power amplifier before being sent to the loudspeaker where the signal is split by a passive crossover into the appropriate frequency ranges before being sent to the individual drivers and the power amplifier...

PowerPoint vs Keynote

PowerPoint and Keynote are both features of office suites and standalone software. PowerPoint is included in MS Office and is available for PC and Mac. Keynote is part of Apple iWork and is exclusively for Mac. Presentations will typically be in PowerPoint...

PowerPoint vs Keynote

PowerPoint and Keynote are both features of office suites and standalone software. PowerPoint is included in MS Office and is available for PC and Mac. Keynote is part of Apple iWork and is exclusively for Mac. Presentations will typically be in PowerPoint...


Front vs. Rear and Ground vs. Truss vs. Rigged Front vs. rear has no cost difference.  Rear projection requires space behind the screen to focus the projector which will impact the venues seating capacity.  The front is generally brighter projection but means people...

Push-to-Talk Microphones

A Microphone with push-button control keeps speakers from talking over each other and preserves the flow of the dialogue. Their voices are boosted through individual speakers on the microphones, or in the case of events with audiences, through a PA system.

Rear screen vs front screen

Rear projection needs space for equipment and projectors behind the screen and hides the equipment. Typically, front projection screens are brighter when used in darkened rooms. Brightness, however, is highly dependent on projector output and screen...


Refers to the sharpness and clarity of an image. When we talk about resolution, we’re usually describing monitors, projection and graphic image.


A term used to describe any foundation or system that is used for support, move, or fly scenery, lighting fixtures, drapery, screens or cables. Only qualified and certified riggers should attempt to hang or install equipment above an audience, stage, or any other...

Show flow (Agenda)

The show flow includes: start and stop times of presentations and who the presenter is for any given General Session or meeting. These two things combine to give us the show flow.

Speaker timer

Big red LED digits allow you to see the timer even at great distance, so you are free to move while you give the presentation.

Stage Directions

Stage left, stage right, up-stage, and down-stage refer to the perception of the stage in relation to where you are standing. The rear of the stage is considered up-stage. This derives from the raked stage, where the stage sloped up away from the audience. The front...

Stage Wash

A “wash” is a general “fill” of light and color evenly across the stage through the use of lighting fixtures and colored using colored lighting gels. It’s also known as a...

Step-down effect

A method for aligning the drape to be slightly lower than the top of the screens. This is often utilized to add more impact to the audience.


A piece of equipment usually used with a video that allows multiple input sources to be distributed to an output. It also allows dissolves, wipes, faded, cuts, and a host of other transitional visual effects. Switchers can also match different resolutions and scan...

Throw lenses

“Long throw” lenses are designed to be used when the projector is far back from the screen in front projection. A “Short throw” is used when, in close proximity to the screen, in the rear or front...


The metal lattice tower used to support a projector, Leko light, screen or drape is considered a truss. Typically, trusses are 6 feet or taller.


LED. These are lighting fixtures to add production quality by illuminating stage items, drapes, background or other scenic elements.

Wired vs wireless mic

Both mics work great. The main difference is mobility. If you have a presenter who likes to move, then wireless is best. However, if you want a stationary presentation or questions from the audience then wired can work better.