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One of the advantages of using Connect is its flexibility. You can set a Meeting Room up to do whatever it is you'd like to do. What we're going to take a look at here is how to create a room from a scratch, but also how to configure it for the purpose that you might have, and we'll even customize it a little bit to brand it. So to get started, we're going to go to the Connect portal. What I've done here is I've actually created a Bookmark to take me into my portal. I've shown you before that you can type the URL in directly to get to your portal. But frankly, if you are going to be working with Connect frequently, you're going to want a Bookmark.
So I've created one here, and we'll use it to get into the portal. I'll log myself in, and again, because we are using a 30 day trial, we may see this notification. If you're using an actual paid for account, you won't have to deal with it. We'll put that away. I'm going to start to create a meeting from the Meetings tab, and we'll select New Meeting. The type of meeting that I am going to create here in this demonstration is going to be for the purpose of presenting, and then discussing the presented material.
So we'll Name it Presentation and Discussion. We'll create a Custom URL, and everything else will be left exactly as it is in the default, and I'll click Finish. While it's finishing, I do want to point out that the URL that I chose here, presentanddiscuss, is as important to this as probably anything else, because the URL will give me a sense of what this room is to be used for. When you use Connect, it's not uncommon to have many, many meetings, and by using a URL that will help you to understand what the meeting is for, you'll be able to pick the meeting that you need for your purpose more quickly.
So we'll go ahead and enter the meeting, and this meeting uses the default template, and although it's okay, it's really not what I want. So the first thing I'm going to do is simply remove all of the pods. We'll get them out of our way, and we'll add pods to the mix that we need as we go. The other thing that I want to do is brand this room a little bit. If you see here, I've got this dark gray background and it's just kind of plain. So I am going to add a specific background that I've created with a graphics editing program such as Adobe's Photoshop.
I'll select Meeting > Preferences, and under the General Preferences category, I've got the Room Appearance Background option. I am going to Upload a file that I've created. I'll select Browse My Computer, and among the Exercise Files that I've provided for you, if you are a premium subscriber, you can find a file called a Backdrop. Now this is JPEG file. Connect also supports GIF files and PNG files. In fact, you can see the supported types here, or if you are a Flash guru and you want to use a Flash movie file, you can even use that as well as.
So I'll go ahead and choose my JPEG Backdrop, and click Open. It takes a moment for the system to upload it. When it's done, you'll see it appear here, as a little thumbnail. Now I'll go ahead and click Done, and there is a point that I want to make about this image. The resolution of your monitor is going to determine the size of the file that you create for this purpose, or the size of the file that you have your graphics department create. If you typically present at 1024x768, and your audience is at 1024x768, then create a file of that size.
In this monitor, it's a little bit larger. It's 1280x720, and so that's the size of the graphics file that I've created for this. You'll probably want to plan for the largest common denominator, so that if people are using a smaller screen, weird things don't happen to the image. It will just scale the image down, and lop some off the top and bottom, and that's why I've used sort of a picture, as opposed to something that has specific boxes here and there that might get lopped off for your end-user. But it adds a little bit of branding or a little bit of visual interest to your meeting, so that someone isn't looking at simple gray behind the pods.
Now to finish this off, what I am gong to do is add a couple of pods, and I want to point out why I'm going to add the pods I am going to add. This meeting is going to be for a presentation, but people are going to come into the meeting and they're going to want to chat with one another, see who is in the meeting, and I'm going to need to put a little bit of information in there for them, so that when they arrive, they'll understand what's going to happen. So the first thing I am going to add is the Attendee pod, and I can put this anywhere that I want, and I don't have to line it up.
So I'm actually going to put this right in the upper left-hand, nice, and tall, because I know there'll be quite a few people in my meeting. I am going to add a Chat pod. Connect is going to try and fill all of the available space with that. But I don't really need it to be that large. So I am going to make the Chat pod a little smaller. I am going to kind of associate it with the Attendee list pod, just generally by putting it here. Then last, but not least, I am going to add a Notes pod, so that I can start to put some notes about the meeting.
For example, an agenda, or a start time, or if there is audio dial-in information, or whatever it is that I might want to have people see when they come in the room. Then the final step for my Chat and my Notes pods is to double-click on their names and rename them. Feel free to be creative here. These don't have to be super descriptive of exactly what the pod is, and only what the pod is. They can be an indication that you want people to start talking to each other. So, Say hello! And the Notes pod, I am going to have the Agenda, and that calls out what the pod's purpose is, so that when people enter the room for the first time, this is where they are going to go.
They'll be able to see who is in the room, they'll be able to chat with who is in the room, and they'll see that there's some information that you want them to have before the meeting gets started.
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