Web conferencing tools like Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx and Zoom and others allow the host to share his/her screen with the audience. When the host shares his screen it means that participants in the web conference view the host’s screen as he navigates the web or to an application such as Excel. The host retains control of the screen and participants watch as he performs a specific task.
Here are a few ideas to make the most of the application sharing feature in a web conference:
- Log into an extra computer as a participant: Since the instructor view and participant view are usually different in application sharing mode, it helps to have an extra computer next to you. Log into the extra computer as a participant so that you can glance at the participant view and make sure everything is ok.
- Optimize your screen: Test the application sharing feature before using it in a live session and make a few changes to optimize your screen. By optimize I mean make the screen as clear as possible for your viewers. If you will be showing websites while in application sharing mode, remove all toolbars you don’t need. Does the audience really need to see your bookmarks toolbar? Better to remove all the unnecessary toolbars in your Internet browser for a cleaner look. Also, experiment with the text size and zoom options in your browser or in the application you are sharing and see if you can make any adjustments to improve the clarity of the screen. Check the extra computer next to you to see how the screen changes as you make adjustments.
- Avoid ‘Antsy Mouse Syndrome’: Keep in mind that while you are sharing your screen with participants, they can see your mouse moving on the screen. A presenter suffering from antsy mouse syndrome constantly moves his mouse as he speaks which is very distracting.
- Practice: Practice the steps you will follow when you are in application sharing mode so that they are fluid. You want to avoid clicking around needlessly which will confuse participants. For example, if you plan to navigate to a section of a web site that you will demonstrate, note the path you will click through in your speaker notes or leader guide.
The application sharing feature is a powerful feature, and when used properly it can greatly enhance your web conference.