I wrote recently about Dick Cleaveland's recent virtual presentation: he spoke to a genealogy gathering that was many miles away. Dick was at home and used a computer to display PowerPoint slides, log onto web sites, and perform other tasks while the distant audience watched every move as displayed by a computer projector in their meeting room. Dick's voice also could clearly be heard as it was played on the speakers in the distant meeting room.
That article is still available at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/11/virtual-present.html.
I have since received numerous e-mail messages from people reporting similar experiences. Apparently, virtual presentations are more common than I realized. Indeed, I have done the same thing myself in the business world although not to a genealogy gathering. Perhaps it is time for me (and perhaps you as well) to move into the twenty-first century's method of making presentations!
Indeed, this has been a topic of conversation recently in the Association of Professional Genealogists' mailing list. Here are a few excerpts.
Sandy Clunies, a professional genealogist, author, and frequent lecturer wrote:
I have accepted an invitation to be a virtual speaker for two lectures at a
genealogical conference in April – I live in Maryland and the conference
audience will be in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
Sitting at my home computer with a headset and microphone, I will go to a
special website at http://www.elluminate.com, sign into a reserved [virtual] room, open my PowerPoint presentations, and give the talks while the audience watches it full screen and listens live 2,000+ miles away.
Furthermore, from my own computer I can highlight, draw, and use a pointer
to emphasize certain points. And I can receive and answer questions from the
audience as they happen.
You can read Sandy's full comments at http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/APG/2007-11/1195912773.
Sharon Sergeant, owner of www.ancestralmanor.com and a frequent presenter, wrote:
I have been working with a voice technology company for several months. I have prepared a prototype for a tutorial using one of their products from the material covered in my recent Newspaper Finding Aids teleconference.
You can read Sharon's full comments at http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/APG/2007-11/1195676195.
In short, virtual presentations are already a common method of making presentations without spending a lot of money on travel expenses.