I keep hearing this request from guest speakers on webinars. "Where can I see my PowerPoint notes while presenting?" For most webinar technologies, the answer is "on the hardcopy you print out and keep on your desk."
That is a pity. Forcing presenters to shift their attention between paper and the screen has several drawbacks. They aren't watching chat messages from the moderator or other presentation team members. They aren't watching questions and comments coming in from the audience. They insert noticeable pauses between slides as they advance the slide online and turn pages on their desk. And the audience hears the sound of paper shuffling, destroying the illusion that the speaker is delivering the information ad hoc.
For technologies that present PowerPoint slides via screen sharing, there is probably nothing to be done. But many webinar vendors upload and cache the PowerPoint slides before the meeting starts. These companies need to work on ways to give presenters the option to see the notes section of each slide as it gets displayed to attendees.
It is late and I am relying purely on memory, but the only product I can think of offhand with this capability is Adobe Connect. I'm probably forgetting one or two others. If you represent a webinar product that lets presenters see their presentation notes, please add a comment.
If your product doesn't do this, get your development team cracking. Why not distinguish yourself from the competition with functionality that users want?
UPDATE 4/17/13 - ON24 wrote to remind me that their new Presentation Manager XD shows slide notes to presenters. Thanks and kudos!
UPDATE 1/17/14 - omNovia also added speaker notes for presenters. It's getting better! It also occurs to me that if you are using a screen sharing technology such as GoToWebinar, you can solve the situation with a dual-monitor computer setup. Then you can run Presenter View in PowerPoint and see the notes on one screen while you display and share the slides on the second monitor.