Friday, June 3, 2016

No Projector in Your Meeting Room? Use Google Hangouts Screenshare!

Recently our Web Services department met to review web pages and some of the development work that was going on. This usually involves one of our designers sharing their screen on the large monitor or project. Unfortunately, this meeting room didn't have anything and people started spinning their laptop screens back and forth to show their work.

As I was on the other side of the table and didn't want to be walking back and forth, I realized we could do this just as easy with a Hangout Video Call! I quickly got everyone setup (Tip: Use Google Chrome to avoid needing to downloading a plugin), gave them the name of the Hangout "room" (feature only available to Google Apps for Education/Work) and had everyone start screen sharing. Be sure to mute microphones and cameras.

Although everyone is screen sharing, it won't necessarily show up on everyone's screen until someone selects "Present to Everyone".

Here's the trick: once you're done, just stop presenting (but not screen sharing)! It does 2 important things

  • allows the next person to present to the group
  • still keeps you screen sharing. This means you don't have to go back in and choose which screen/window to share, and you can quickly start presenting again

A couple of caveats:

  • if someone pins a user (i.e. clicks on the icon of a user in the filmstrip) that will override the presenter window
  • when you're still sharing, someone can pin your screen and still see what you're doing
Remember, with Hangouts you can have up to 25 people participating - and don't forget to take advantage of the built-in chat in your Hangout to pass URLs back and forth.