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In Adobe Connect Essential Training, author Tim Plumer, Jr. explains how to deliver and host interactive web meetings, webinars, and e-learning tutorials using Adobe Connect. The course covers the software's many tools for streamlining communication and engaging participants, such as the screen sharing, full-screen, and whiteboard features. Also included are tutorials on recording presentations, video conferencing, and using Connect with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone. Exercise files accompany the course.
Often at the end of a meeting I'll have some handouts or some web links that I want to share with my audience for further review or study. To do that with Connect, I am going to use two pods, specifically. The File Share Pod and the Web Links Pod. So to get started, I am going to create a new layout which I am going to use at the end of the meeting as a wrap up layout, and because it's going to look very similar to this layout, I am simply going to duplicate it. I'll choose Layouts > Create New Layout, and duplicate an existing layout. Rename it, call it Wrap up, click OK.
Now, it doesn't look like anything has changed, but notice at the top that this is the Wrap up layout. So I am going to go ahead and reconfigure this layout. I'll make the Share Pod just a little bit more narrow, and we'll start with the File Share Pod, so I'll select Files > Add New File Share, and let's resize this because I don't want it to be this tall, I am going to use about half of the space I have available. The File Share Pod essentially works like a little FTP service. You can upload files into it and your audience will be able to download files from it during your session.
So we'll go ahead and upload a file. I'll choose from the Pod Options menu, Upload File, and I am going to Browse My Computer, because I want to upload this PowerPoint file. We'll click Open and it will upload the file. Now, remember, it's a good idea to do this stuff ahead of time if you can, certainly it's okay if you've got an ad hoc file that you want to share with your audience to do it this way, but just bear in mind the fact that if you do it, it's going to take some time to do it and any dead time is time that people might spend checking their email or leaving the meeting. Once you have uploaded the file, you can go ahead and rename it.
Connect will sometimes give it these odd names just to make sure that it's able to keep track of it on the server. So I am going to rename it here in the Pod by selecting Rename Selected, and then we'll take the number scheme off there, and instead of using ppt to indicate that it's a PowerPoint, I am going to type the word powerpoint. That makes it easy for my audience to see what it is. In this case, I am actually going to reshrink the Share Pod a little bit and make this a little bit larger so that it's easier to see the title.
Now, to work with this file all I need to do is either select this file and click Save To My Computer. And just so you can see what the audience view of this would be, I am going to convert myself from a Host to a Participant, and you can see that the only thing that they can do is save a file. So participants can't upload files, you have to be a presenter or a host to do that. When you have a file here, you can click Save To My Computer. It will launch your Browser and give you the ability to download the file to your system. And of course it will just ask you where you'd like to place it and then start downloading.
So the File Share Pod is a great way for you to take information that you want to share in the form of a document, upload it into the room, and then deliver it to your audience. One little tip though, if you are going to upload large files, it's a good idea to zip them or use StuffIt compression to compress them so that they are smaller, because any little bit of bandwidth you can save is bandwidth that people don't have to use downloading files or whatever. Plus, you will want to shorten the amount of time it takes for people to do this because, well, you want to make sure that your focus is on your presentation, not on downloading.
Now, another way that you can use the web and Connect to extend the purpose of the meeting is to provide URLs. So I am going to go ahead and convert myself back to the Host. I am going to select from the Pods menu, Web Links, and we'll add a new Web Links Pod. And we'll adjust it so that it fits into our little space here. The Web Links Pod works actually in two different ways. One, I can in an ad hoc moment surf people to a particular website. To do that, I am going to type the website in. Once I have typed the website in, I'll click Browse To and that will actually take myself and my entire audience to that webpage, which is handy if you want people to see information on a website.
But bear in mind, if you do this in the middle of a presentation, you've taken people out of your meeting to a web browser and they may choose to surf from here to other places that you don't want them to go. So it's something that I tend to use at the end of a meeting, not during the middle of the meeting. But it's a great tool because it allows you to extend your meeting by adding things that you find on the World Wide Web to the meeting. So we'll go ahead and we'll close this. Now, once I have a website that I want to use over and over again, I may want to save it, and that's the second thing that I can do with the Web Links Pod.
I have a web link in here, I am going to select Add Link, and what Connect will do is assume that I want to make this a more permanent link that I can use over and over again. You can see that it already populated the path information with the link. Now I am just going to go ahead and name it. And this is a name that I can choose to give it a label that I understand. So we'll click OK. What's nice is that, if I am in the middle of a meeting and I want to take people to our website, I've cleared the link information out of here.
I am just going to click on it here and you can see that by simply clicking on this link, it loads up the text field here with the URL, which I can then click to browse to, and I can have multiple web links in my Web Links Pod. Now, one more thing, I want to show you what this looks like for the end user, because it's a little different. I am going to select Participant. Notice that as a participant I can also do the same thing. If as a participant I select this and I click Browse To, I will take myself, not everybody else, but just myself, to that website.
So this is also good to load up with websites that you want people to use for further review at the end of your meeting. But both the File Share and the Web Links Pod are great pods for extending the value of your meeting by giving people documents to take away after the fact and by providing them web links that they can use for research and further review at the end of the meeting.
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