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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.
There'll be times when you're presenting information using the Share pod that you really need your audience to focus on what you're saying. If you set Connect up the way that I would typically recommend it, you actually can lay a little bit of a trap for yourself. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to stop the sharing here, and I am going to restore this pod so that it only fills up some of the screen, and we'll go ahead and share a PowerPoint file. Now if you don't already have one loaded into your system, you can just upload it by using Browse My Computer and then click OK.
Most of the meetings during which I'm presenting that I have are going to have a pod or two other than the Share pod, like the Attendee pod and we've got a Chat pod here. So I can allow people to chat about the information that I am presenting. But it's not uncommon, especially after I'm five or six slides in to start seeing people chatting about things that really don't have anything to do with my presentation. For example, Olivia here is in the meeting. She is going to start chatting me about something that doesn't have anything to do with this presentation, and that's a problem because it can become a distraction.
So "Hey Tim - how about lunch today?" Okay. Well, that's interesting. But its 10:30 and I have 25 more slides to get through. So I really don't want this conversation to be sort of front of mind. I need to get through this information. So I am going to deal with that using something called Full Screen. For starters, Full Screen is just a way of sort of blanking out whatever else is going on in the room. So I'm going to go ahead and click on Full Screen. What that will do is that'll hide everything else, all the other pods, and all of the other interface things that might become a distraction for me.
That will allow me to get through the rest of my 25 slides successfully. However, Olivia still has access to the Chat pod. So if she is using it to have a legitimate discussion with somebody else, she can do that. In fact, if she has a legitimate question for me, she can type that into the pod, and then submit it, and it will actually pop-up so that I can see it, and there you go. Oh, what were the sales this year? Yes, good question Olivia, and I can continue on to answer the question using the information that I'm discussing. However, that itself can even be a distraction. If I really need to get through these slides and I really don't want to see the chats that are going on, what I am going to do is jump out of Full Screen.
I am going to come over here to the Meeting menu and I am going to select Preferences. I'm interested here in the Chat Pod preferences where I can set the Chat notification options to be Disable, click Done. I'll go back to Full Screen and Olivia can chat away, but Connect isn't going to allow me to see that. That's great, because that allows me to continue on my presentation without worrying about what it is that Olivia might be saying to the other members of the meeting or what Olivia might be saying to me.
Here is where a little bit of power can become sort of dangerous. If you do this, you want to make sure that you take plenty of breaks during your presentation to go check to see if Olivia has had any questions or if the general audience has something to say that might be worth looking at. So every five slides or so, it's a good idea to jump out of Full Screen mode, take a look, and see what's going on here. I can see that Olivia is getting ready for lunch. Maybe it's a good time to check my watch and realize the meeting has gone on a little bit, and it would be a good time to break for lunch.
So if you use Full Screen mode as a way to ignore your audience, then make sure that you go back and check a few times to see what your audience has to say. Now there is one more thing that you can do. If you have a really nicely structured meeting, and you really built the meeting up around the idea of taking nice breaks and you really want to control things, what you can do is select from the Pod Options menu here, Force Presenter View. What Force Presenter View does is it makes it, so that when I go to Full Screen, everybody goes to Full Screen.
So Olivia now doesn't have any access to the Chat pod at all. She is focused on my presentation as I am presenting. If I am a good presenter, every fifth or sixth slides I'll stop and then jump out of Full Screen mode, so that we can all take a look at the Chat pod and enter some questions, or put some thoughts, or some comments into the Chat pod for discussion. So the Full Screen function is a really great tool for focusing the attention of your audience and giving your audience an opportunity to chat when necessary, but preventing them from chatting and becoming a distraction when you don't want them to.
Now there is one more thing that you can use this for. I am going to leave Force Presenter View selected and I am going to stop the sharing here, because this is a Share pod preference. It works for anything that I use the share pod to do including Share My Screen. But you will notice that there is no Full Screen button here anymore. What I am going to do is click on Share My Screen and I am going to Share, and while I am sharing my screen, if I want to access some of the interface of Connect for some reason, all I need to do is either come down here to the Task Bar in Windows and bring Connect forward or the Dock on the Macintosh and actually click on Full Screen here.
Now at this point what I have to do is use a key command to jump away from Connect and hide it. But I can force people into Full Screen, while I'm doing the screen share. I am going to turn that off. The other thing that I can do is if I have another presenter or another host in the room, I can have them use the Full Screen button. Then the final thing that I will point out here is that the Full Screen button is something that's also available to your audience. When you're presenting, it's a good idea to point it out to your audience so that they understand that there is a Full Screen option that they can take advantage of as well.
It's a really good idea for those audience members who also don't want the distraction of what's going on elsewhere in the interface. Let them go to a Full Screen mode on their own so that they can see what you're doing. But either way, Full Screen is a really great tool for allowing you to hide those things in Connect that allow people to interact, which might steal the focus away from your presentation occasionally and then bring those things back when you do want them to participate fully.
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