Chapter 14. The Virtual Presentation: Mastering the Medium

Bill Rosenthal


People still tell a story, perhaps apocryphal, about the early days of automobiles. At that tentative beginning of the transportation revolution, there were only two horseless carriages in the entire city of Topeka, Kansas. Somehow, improbably, they managed to crash into each other. The townsfolk who witnessed the collision displayed a mixture of apprehension and relief. They were fearful to see a newfangled technology they didn't know how to use and for which they didn't even perceive a need. And they were relieved that the wreck of these two noisily belching, self-propelled vehicles seemed to validate their reliance on the known, horse-drawn method of getting around.

According to many, the Internet rivals the automobile in its transformational effects on our world. And perhaps by now, people are getting used to the lightning speed at which new technologies appear and become integrated into our lives. Certainly anyone with a teenager sees the ease—and speed—with which new gadgets and new technologies spread (are you "twittering" yet?).

Web-based technology for meetings, presentations, demonstrations, or training isn't even new anymore. If you're a business person, you've surely experienced it. But have you prepared a Web-based presentation? Have you facilitated an Internet-based meeting in your company? Have you been the teleconferenced presenter to dozens or even hundreds of potential customers? ...

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