If you're planning a video conferencing session - particularly a conference in which you want to demonstrate something to your participants using your computer - screen sharing is vitally important.
Screen sharing enables participants to see your screen through your eyes, witnessing exactly what you do and gaining a high level of understanding in the process. Being able to see something in action, rather than just being told about it adds a whole new dimension of experience for participants.
But how do you get the best out of this handy function? Read on to find out more.
Get some practice in before you start screen sharing for real
Screen sharing is a useful tool like any other - this means, if you deploy the tool the right way, you're going to get great results. However, this also means that if you get it wrong, it's a serious missed opportunity.
So, how do you make sure you're in the former category? By practising beforehand. Install the screen sharing tool on your device and ask a friend or colleague to download the third party software to their device also. Then you can begin experimenting with the screen share and getting to grips with how it works.
One common issue you might encounter is that your colleague's computer doesn't permit them to download the third party software. This can cause a severe snag during a video conference, so learning how to quickly and effectively troubleshoot this in advance is important.
Use software which makes screen sharing invites easy to manage
It's important to make the process of adding audience members to your screen share as streamlined and as straightforward as possible. The last thing you want is to waste time at the beginning of your webinar, adding users, having them download the software, and guiding them through the sign-up and login processes. This will cause an annoying delay, even if you have invested in the best video conferencing hardware available, but your software platform can provide a solution.
High-quality video conferencing hardware platforms will support emailed links which enable your audience members to download the screen sharing tool before the webinar begins. You'll also be able to provide handy tips and guidance to help them get set up.
The result is an onboarding process which requires only a few simple clicks of the mouse or taps of the touchscreen, minimising delays and helping you get straight down to the good stuff.
Be ready to go ahead of time
It's not only your audience who needs to be prepared before the video conference call begins. It's also important that you have everything ready to roll out as soon as required. This means adding an extra level of planning to the preparation stage of the video session.
Answer the following questions before you begin, to make sure you're fully prepared and ready to start:
- What do you want to demonstrate using the screen sharing solution?
- Which documents, folders, and other files will you need to access?
- How will you find these files and folders when the conferencing session begins?
- Which programs and apps will you be using?
- Do you have the login credentials for these programs and apps to hand?
- Does your computer system need updating?
- Do any of the apps and programs you will use also need an update before you begin?
Use this as your handy checklist, and make your way through the list, checking off each point as you go. It'll probably be helpful to open any folders and files beforehand for quick access, and to log into apps and programs ahead of time to ensure seamless sharing.
How your desktop looks during the video conference will say a lot about you and your level of professionalism. For example, having a desktop background which depicts your favourite movie, a beloved cartoon character, or a joke or meme you found particularly funny is fine when it comes to the personal use of your computer. However, when viewed by other participants during a video conference call, this will be diverting at best, and could come across as unprofessional at worst.
The layout of your desktop could also cause an unwanted distraction. Make sure your desktop is neatly ordered, with smart rows of icons displaying folders and program shortcuts. Having files and folders scattered all around your desktop doesn't look good, just as it wouldn't look good if they were strewn around your physical desk.
Take some time to consider this, and show a professional face to your other participants from the moment the conferencing session begins. This is even more critical if you have never met some of the participants before, as research shows that it's seriously difficult to reverse the effects of a bad first impression.
Think about pop-ups, notifications, and other distractions
You don't want your participants getting distracted by notifications from email clients, put off by alerts and status reports from updating apps, or otherwise sidetracked by bleeps and noises from your computer.
Think about this before you begin. Close down any programs that you think might be the source of an alert or other distraction, and sign out of any chat, email, or messaging which could get in the way of your presentation.
This will leave the stage set for a seamless screen sharing session, with no unnecessary disturbances or anything else getting in the way.
To find out more about choosing the best video conferencing hardware and software solutions for your business, or to get more information about screen sharing, get in touch with the Express Virtual Meetings team today.