Video conferencing and meetings have been around for some time but have been getting more use than ever as of late. Google Hangouts started as a messenger platform offered through Google+ in 2013, but was re-engineered and is now known as Google Meet, a service built for secure business meetings and video conferences.
Using the same privacy and security measures that Google uses, Google Meet video conferences are encrypted in transit for added protection, along with frequent updates to security measures. Virtual meetings are here to stay and Meet offers the ability for teams and groups to collaborate on business and work assignments, school projects, or even have everyone at the same table for dinner.
Working on any device, Meet makes it easier than ever to connect with those near and far. Meet is free but does offer upgrade options for businesses and organizations which allow for higher amounts of participants, as well as longer meeting times.
Meet offers an array of features for users to get the best experience from their video conferences, including messaging with participants, adjustable layouts and screen settings, integration with Google and Microsoft Office apps, and many more.
One feature that proves incredibly useful is Screen Sharing; this allows users to present either their entire screen or just a certain window during a video conference, whether it be a document or presentation. Screen sharing is beneficial for sharing project ideas, meeting notes, proposal edits, classes, or conferences that cannot be attended in person, or even new employee training.
The first step you are going to need to do is join your meeting by clicking on the invitation link that was sent to you by the meeting host. If you are the meeting host, make sure you have added everyone to your meeting. Participants can join the meeting via the link and by entering the meeting code.
Alternatively, they can call into the meeting using the dial-in number and PIN in the invite. If you and your participants are using the free version of Google Meet, everyone will need to create or sign in to an existing Google Account to join the meeting.
Meet also offers live captioning during your meetings. This allows your participants to follow along with automated real-time captions using Google’s speech recognition technology. Closed captioning can be easily turned on by clicking on the options menu (three dots on the Meet screen).
Tip: prior to sharing your screen, make sure you have minimized or closed any windows or applications that you don’t want your team members to see while screen sharing.
While in your call, you will see a button in the bottom right corner of your screen to Present Now. From here, you can select your entire screen, a specific window, or a Chrome browser or tab. If you do present a Chrome tab, it will share any audio found on that tab by default. If you have a different Chrome tab, you wanted to share, select the ‘Change Source’ bottom found at the bottom of your screen. This is where you will select the content you want to share with your audience. It is important to remember that if your camera is on, your video is still active and sharing along while you’re presenting.
A helpful feature when presenting and screen sharing you might want to take a look at using is the ability to mute another Google Meet participants; this can be helpful if you are experiencing feedback or background noise during a video meeting.
If you are having the meeting through a personal account, only the meeting moderator or host can mute the other participants. You can use the message feature to request the host to mute everyone if you are not the host. To mute others as the moderator, hover on the volume button in that participant’s video thumbnail and select Mute.
Once you have selected your content and prepared your screen for sharing, select ‘Share.’ At this time, all attendees on the call will be able to see and hear your shared content, and video if your camera is on.
Tip: Keep your notifications on – they will send you alerts for when your screen is visible. This will help remind you that users can still your screen, or if it is no longer visible and your attendees can no longer see your shared content.
Sometimes you might not be the only presenter, and there is more than one person who has to screen share. If another attendee is already sharing their screen, it is a similar process to sharing your screen as the only presenter.
In the bottom right corner is the same ‘Present Now’ button, select your content to share, and select ‘Present Instead.’ If someone else presents their screen, you will get a notification that your presentation is still visible to others. You can click the buttons in the notification to end or resume your presentation.
To stop presenting and sharing your screen, there will be a Stop Presenting button in the Meet window that you can click, or in the bottom right corner. You can click on the button that says, ‘You are presenting – stop presenting.’ You will still be part of the video call; however, your screen will no longer be shared at that point.
Another option for sharing your screen is if you are joining a video conference only to present. In this case, when you join the meeting, only your computer screen and content will be shared; no audio or other video is accessible.
You would join the same way, clicking on your meeting link and enter your meeting code, except this time, your camera is not accessed so you will not be viewed. Click the same ‘Present’ button, select your window, tab, or application you are using to present and select ‘Share.’