This month, I was the invited guest speaker to a ham radio club meeting. But I did not show up in person. The meeting location is 90 minutes from my place, and I did not feel like traveling three hours round-trip in an evening to give this EME presentation. One possibility was to do it remotely, either by phone or using the Skype software over the Internet. So we decided to give it a try via Skype.
The meeting room did not have a telephone line, let alone a wired internet connection. So the remote Club official suggested using his cellular phone's internet access to complete the Skype connection. I suggested that this might cost a lot of money for such a long bi-directional video connection, but the Club official did not seem worried about that... I also had doubts about the long term (one hour+) reliability of this setup. But I was willing to give it a try. We did a short dry run a few weeks before the meeting from home to home and things looked promising, with a solid Skype video link both ways.
In preparation for the meeting, I sent the Club official the slide package in .PDF form and some audio clips to be played during the presentation. On the evening of the meeting, things went surprisingly well, with no technical difficulties whatsoever. My remote counterpart flipped the slides and played the sound clips as I progressed. I answered the attendees' questions as they came in. My speech lasted 75 minutes. After the presentation, I solicited some feedback from the attendees and only got positive comments. It looks like nobody fell asleep during the presentation! This was one of my fears: losing the attendees' interest because the speaker is not physically present.
So in retrospect, this is a great way to serve the ham community, while limiting the waste of time and cost of traveling. I will definitely promote this approach the next time someone asks me to speak at a distant ham meeting location.