There's a popular advertisement on TV today which shows a diverse sample of the population describing their favourite type of weather. Yes, as the ad says, we all love to talk about the weather. Talking about the weather is indeed a great British pastime. A recent survey asking 5,000 adults to identify the things that make us unique as a nation, showed that several stereotypical British attributes made the list, including a stiff upper lip, an overriding interest in class and a love of tea. Not surprisingly, researchers found 58% of the people questioned like nothing more than chatting about the weather forecast.

And weather watching plays an important part in our daily lives: snow gridlock in 2010 cost the UK £1.2 billion a day. Criticism of the efforts to keep Britain "open" during the cold spell were rife as organisations claimed that there had been a failure to deal with the problem of jammed motorways and major roads. Airports closed, trains were cancelled and everyone was warned not to undertake any journeys unless they were absolutely necessary. Parents who might have packed a flask, shovel and spare pair of woollies in the boot for a drive to the office were faced with the dilemma of trying to get to work or stay at home with the children and hope to be excused with a 'snow day'. All of this confusion and chaos has added to the discussion that location need not be important if you make use of today's technology.

But just how far can new communication technologies and flexible travel make location irrelevant when organising meetings, presentations and pitches? Most savvy companies use technology to their advantage. For anyone who relies on presentation as an intrinsic tool to how they work, PowerPoint 2010 gives you the flexibility to present to your audience from wherever you are. With PowerPoint 2010 you can broadcast your presentation over the Internet to a remote audience, while you present the slide show inside PowerPoint, and your audience can follows along in their browser.

The Broadcast Slide Show feature in PowerPoint 2010 lets you share a slide show with anyone, wherever they are, as long as the have access to the Internet. All you need to do is send a link (URL) to your audience, and then anyone you have invited can watch a synchronised view of your slide show in their browser. You can even send the URL for your slide show to attendees via your email address. During the broadcast, you can pause the slide show at any time, re-send the URL to attendees, or switch to another application without interrupting the broadcast or displaying your desktop to attendees.

The Broadcast Slide Show feature does require a network service to host the slide show, and you can choose from several services. PowerPoint Broadcast Service is available to anyone with a Windows Live ID and is ideal for anyone who is not part of a corporate network, or for presenting to an audience that is outside your organisation. Anybody with an Internet connection will be able to access the URL for a slide show hosted on this service. Or you can use a broadcast service provided by your organisation, hosted on a SharePoint server that has the Microsoft Office Web Apps installed. To use this service, a broadcast site must be set up by the site administrator and audience members must have access to site.

There are a few things you should think about before you get your presentation ready for broadcast. Remember, you need to be connected to the Internet or have access to a broadcast site on a server with the Office Web Apps installed in order to use this feature. Your audience must use one of the following supported browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari for Mac. And remember that the service you use might impose a limit on the file size for broadcasting slide shows.

There are some PowerPoint features which change when the slide show is broadcast online: transitions in your presentation are shown as Fade transitions in the browser; screensavers and email pop-ups can disrupt the viewer's continuity of your slide show; audio is not transmitted to the audience through the browser; and you are not able to add link annotations or markup drawn onto the slide show during the presentation. If you follow a hyperlink in your presentation to a Web site, the attendees only see the last slide you showed in the original presentation. And if you play a video in your presentation, the browser does not show it to the audience.

Now, you don't have to keep waiting for the forecast to check if your presentation day falls at the same time as the next torrential rain/wind/snow/heatwave - not unless you just can't stop yourself.