Conference calls with slides have become a more important presentation tool for businesses. Two main ways have evolved to do conference calls. The first and oldest is to send a Powerpoint document in advance to the call guests. During the call the host will call attention to different slides or points on the document. Each guest manages what they see. While a successful mode of presentation it has several possible shortcomings:
- Everyone may not be on the same page. For example, while the host expounds on a graph, the guest may read a summary of the event–so there becomes a growing disconnect between the speaker and the listener.
- At some point the participants will get lost and try to ascertain where the speaker is in the slide presentation.
- Even if the presenter keeps everyone together he has to constantly update everyone on the sequence.
- The above three issues may lead to frustration for everyone and the conference call slide presentation does not reflect well on the host.
The second means that has become popular uses a web conferencing service. The conference call host uploads his slides to the server. When she notifies the participants of the time of the call the invitation includes the web conferencing address and passcode information. With the use of web conferencing the host will have greater control over the presentation:
- the host controls the timing and presentation of the slides.
- she can also use online tools to annotate and mark up her presentation to emphasize and make clear different points.
- guests can use the chat feature to ask the presenter questions or to indicate that a point is not clear. Of course they can still ask a question via the conference call line.
- presenter can also turn over control to participants who can point out, markup and annotate the slides.