I’ve been giving a lot of presentations lately to my project sponsors. My primary contact is a friend and former student, so I feel like I know the audience, but there are maybe 6 to 10 people in a conference room at the other end of a phone line.
I’ve been doing my presentations using Swinger hosted on my workstation and mirrored on my server. The visuals are transmitted via GoToMeeting, so I’m more or less shouting into a speaker phone while clicking away on my computer.
All in all it is a very odd experience.
I do wish I could see the audience. When I teach or give a presentation, I can see when the people in the back are falling asleep, or when a concept isn’t really clear, and I can change things up accordingly. Here, working just by slightly laggy audio, I have almost no feedback aside from the occasional question.
One rather cool thing that happened today: I noticed that I forgot to load up some pics that demonstrated a concept, so during a question (the questioner had a lot to say), I swivelled over to my workstation, modified the CouchDB presentation, saved it, and continuous replication to the server meant that it was live to my laptop. I then reloaded the slide I was viewing, and the new presentation with the new pics was live, all before the questioner finished explaining why space mean speed was more appropriate than time mean speed.
But I’m off to Hawaii in the morning, so I get to ignore that for a 10 days.