Just as a picture can save you a thousand words, screen sharing can cut the time you spend explaining ideas during a video conference by half – or more, since everyone present is able to see precisely what you are talking about. A versatile tool with countless applications, screen sharing can be used by a variety of teams and departments across all industries to accomplish goals with speed and clarity. A few of the ways you can leverage screen sharing to connect people to the topics at hand include:
- Collaboration – Sharing an idea with team members using visuals is a great way to engage and inspire people and get their creative juices flowing. Screen sharing also makes it easy to edit docs in real time according to group input.
- Presentations – Whether you need to persuade a group to see things from your point of view, reveal insights from research and development, or more, screen sharing is ideal for both planned and impromptu presentations.
- Sales Pitches – Enabling clients and prospects to visualize how your products or services can impact their business is not only good for gaining a competitive advantage; it ensures everyone’s expectations are on the same page.
- Project Reviews – From sharing financial projections and engineering blueprints, to showcasing advertising and PR campaigns, and beyond, screen sharing is a quick way to solicit feedback from key stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of a project.
- Training – Ask anyone in IT or HR and they’ll tell you that the best way to teach people about a particular subject is to walk them through it step-by-step via a screen sharing session.
- Status Updates – An easy way to make weekly stand-ups even faster and more efficient is to allow everyone in the meeting to share status updates, project progress and projected workflows through shared screens.
While the aforementioned use cases are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to screen sharing, there are a few tips you will want to take into consideration before you conduct your next screen share.
Tip #1: Review Your Starting Lineup
It may sound a bit Captain Obvious, but if you know you are going to share your screen during a video conference, take a moment to make sure you have everything you need to do so successfully. Check to make sure you have the right slide decks, presentations and documents open and lined up in the order you plan to share them. By double-checking docs before sharing, you can avoid potentially embarrassing situations where you open the wrong presentation, encounter a software program that isn’t working, or waste meeting attendee’s time by having to stop and search for the right docs.
Tip #2: Practice Makes Perfect
Too often, people focus so much on the docs they plan to share that they forget to think about how they will present the items they have lined up, not to mention what they are going to say. We’ve all been to a video conference where someone read their screens to everyone aloud while sharing, and apart from being an amateur move, it’s also one that people find boring and redundant. To win and maintain your audience’s attention, plan what you are going to say ahead of time as you share your screens. You may even want to invite a trusted coworker to a sneak preview before your screen sharing debut to ensure you’ve worked out any kinks in your presentation.
Tip # 3: Shut It Down
Notifications are great, unless they are interrupting you and your collaborators during a screen share. To avoid the drama and annoyance of constant bells, whistles and pop-ups, go to the settings in your email, apps, calendar, Slack, and any other programs you use that sends notifications throughout the day and temporarily turn them off or put them to sleep for the duration of your video conference.
Tip #4: Tidy Up That Desktop
True story: Once during a screen sharing session with a vendor (who had a crush on our project manager) an attendee noticed his desktop had a picture folder with her name, and asked him point blank to open the folder. Needless to say, it was painfully awkward for everyone present to see how this guy had collected a bunch of candids of her from a work event. On that note, take a good look at everything on your desktop and tuck away anything that could unwittingly create drama during a screen share, like docs from a client competitor, pics of your crush, etc. It’s also a good idea to close all programs on your task bar that are not relevant to your presentation. Extra tip: With recent updates to Highfive’s software, you are now able to select specific windows before you start screen sharing instead of sharing your entire screen to cut down on those awkward moments.
Tip #5: Duly Noted
Even if you are a multi-tasking wonder, it will ruin the flow of your presentation and disrupt the attention of your attendees if you stop to use your screen to take notes via project management software or an online whiteboard. To avoid this scenario, ask a coworker to take down any pertinent notes during your presentation.
Tip #6: Get Personal
If you really want to wow your audience when sharing screens, make it personal for them by customizing your slides, multi-media, and background images according to their interests. For example, if you are using screen sharing to conduct a sales presentation, add the prospects logo or company name to your slides for an engaging and thoughtful personal touch.
Bonus Tip: Get a Highfive
Highfive all-in-one video conferencing devices offer high-quality, easy-to-use screen sharing capabilities that both novices and pros love using. Featuring HD video and audio, Highfive ensures your team has an engaging, face-to-face (and screen to screen) experience every time. To make your next screen sharing presentation a true sensation, give yourself a Highfive.