This one goes out to all the webinar technology vendors out there. You didn't ask, but here is a list of features I want in my ideal web conferencing software. I've seen many of these sprinkled around in various systems, but I haven't seen enough of them in any one product. This set of features concentrates on the needs of marketing presentations given to large groups of people, usually involving lots of slides. Training uses and in-house collaborative meetings are a different subject area.
1) Support the full set of PowerPoint animations and slide transitions.
2) If notes are present in a PowerPoint presentation, display them to the presenter as each slide is presented.
3) Allow immediate self-service upload/availability of presentations or slides without requiring an offline conversion process by the webinar vendor.
4) Allow uploading and addition/replacement of a single slide in an existing presentation deck. This allows fast last-minute changes without forcing a reload of the entire presentation.
5) Allow upload of multiple slide presentations to a single meeting room, with fast and easy switching capabilities between presentations.
6) Allow multiple presenters to advance and annotate their slides without requiring passing of control from one to the next. It adds technical training requirements that guest presenters should not have to worry about.
7) Allow a "guest presenter" option that hides all presenter controls other than slide movement and annotations.
8) Eliminate the "laser pointer" dot for slide annotation. At the least, don't make it the darned default! It never displays smoothly on audience screens and is a nervous crutch for novice presenters.
9a) Give me a mode toggle when annotating slides that sets new annotations to either replace existing ones or add to existing ones. I often want to call attention to one thing, then erase it and put a marker somewhere else. This takes too many steps and too much concentration now.
9b) Let me drag and drop an existing annotation on a slide to a new location. Another way of accomplishing the above task. I could just slide my arrow marker to point the audience at my next bullet.
10) Allow easy single-click erasing of all annotations. Don't hide this under a submenu and don't put up a confirmation window! When I'm presenting, the last thing I want to do is read popup windows and interact with them.
11) Allow easy right-click interaction with individual annotations. If I point at an existing annotation and right-click, I should get a standard edit menu allowing me to cut, copy, paste, and delete that annotation.
12) Let me display poll results to my audience in percentages without letting them see raw numbers of votes. If I have a small audience, I would prefer not to advertise the fact.
13) Let audience members set a feedback indicator and let me see the entire room at a glance. Microsoft Live Meeting does this perfectly. You can see seat colors throughout the room, giving an instant indication if something is wrong, if you need to speak up, etc. However, this display must be viewable for presenters only... not the audience. Oh, and Microsoft? Cultural psychology in the Western world dictates that red is the color associated with trouble. Fix your default associations.
14) Presenters should be able to see who is in the audience without letting audience members see the list.
15) Allow presenters to set priority levels or other indicators on queued questions that have been typed in by the audience. This lets moderators know which questions to select for asking during the public Q&A session.
16) Allow presenters to selectably answer typed-in audience questions with a private answer to the questioner or public display of the question and answer.
17) Allow audience members to have more than one question in the type-in queue at a time.
18) Allow multiple choice polling with multiple responses per respondent ("Click all that apply").
19) Create a default feedback form template like the one mentioned in my entry Creating A Feedback Loop.
20) Support synchronized viewing of media files so everyone is finished at the same time and ready to continue with program content.
21) Allow multiple modes of web page sharing: Presenter interaction only (audience can't affect display); Presenter resynchronization (audience members can interact with their page, but Presenter actions force display back to a synchronized mode); and Full audience interactivity.
22) Allow application sharing by named application, full desktop, or configurable screen region (a sharing frame on the presenter's desktop).