When I run visual thinking workshops for twenty people or so, the only technology in the room is a whiteboard and a couple erasable markers. Getting rid of all the computers makes a bunch of good things happen:
- We focus on the ideas, not the technology
- Death by PowerPoint isn't even an option
- Stories told and pictures drawn live are like magic
But when talking to a room of one hundred people or more, the whiteboard no longer works. The people in the back can't see it, and it can't be projected easily. I tried lots of different things: a video camera, bigger whiteboards, standard projected PPT (yuck -- see above).
Then the folks at Wacom Technologies suggested one of their interactive projection tablets, specifically the DTF-720. They were even nice enough to give me a *really* good price so I could test one out. Having used input tablets in the past, I wasn't convinced: the remoteness of input to display, the drawing delay, the clunky lines -- I hated them.
Then I got the big box delivered and tested out the display to an audience of sixty people down at eBay. It worked! I was able to draw directly on top of a simple PPT (in many cases I just put blank pages in the deck and drew on those). Presto: instant projected whiteboard.
Yes, I had more technology to carry, set-up, and test, but it was a breakthrough. If you need the modern day equivalent of an overhead projector, try the Wacom DTF-720.