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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.
One of the most basic things you'll do with Connect is present information and to do that you're going to use the Share pod. Frankly, when you're doing a basic presentation, the Share pod is the pod you're going to spend most of your time with. So let's take a little bit of a tour of it. We'll use it to actually show some content, and we'll see the ways that we can control the content in general using the Share pod. Now what I have here is a standard meeting room. This is a default layout. It has pods in it. Rarely in a real meeting will I ever share nothing, but the Share pod.
But for this lesson what is actually want to do is focus my attention fully on it. So I am going to hide everything else, and I am going to Maximize the Share pod to fill the window. Now the first thing that you might notice about the Share pod is that there is a large section right here in the middle that says Share My Screen. It may seem like that's the only thing that you can do, but that's not the case. What I can do is click on this arrow, and it will give me the menu that allows me to share one of three different things. We're going to talk about sharing screens and whiteboards a little bit later.
Right now, we'll focus on sharing a document, because especially for first-time users, the most basic thing that you'll do is upload a PowerPoint file into the Share pod and then share it to others. So I am going to go ahead and select Share Document. The Select Document to Share dialog box will appear, and because this is the first time I shared anything with this instance of Connect, there is nothing here. To get a document, I am going to select Browse My Computer. I've provided for you in the Exercise Files, if you are a Premium member or if you have the CD, a set of files that you can use.
Of course, you can use any of the files that you have in your system that you might want to share. So in this case, I am going to choose the Annual Report Presentation. It's a PowerPoint file. We'll click Open. It will upload. Connect will go through a process of converting it into in this case Flash. In fact, because Flash is the underlying platform that this is based on, it's going to convert everything it can into Flash, because it's using the Flash Player to render things. So what I have here is a PowerPoint file in the Share pod. Now I want to make a quick side note here.
If you are ever going to show content to an audience, it's a very good idea not to wait until the meeting is in progress before you start to try and upload it. This is a very small PowerPoint file, so it uploaded rather quickly. If I had a larger PowerPoint file or maybe if my bandwidth was a little bit more constricted, then it would take time, and there is nothing like dead air to send people for their e-mail accounts or their Twitter accounts or whatever. So upload these things ahead of time, and they'll be ready for you when it's time to start the meeting. Now that I have content in the Share pod, in this case because it's a PowerPoint file I can move through the slides, and present the information as if I was showing PowerPoint to a live audience.
Now instead of focusing on the fact that this is a PowerPoint file and how to work with it, that's something that we are going to cover later. What I want to do is talk generally about the fact that I have uploaded content into the Share pod and why that's valuable. I am going to click Stop Sharing. What that's going to do is it's going to stop the presentation to the audience. So now the audience is going to see nothing but a gray screen. In fact, I can show you what that would look like by changing my role to making myself a Participant. So this is just a gray screen. So I am going to go back to being a Host here.
The advantage of having uploaded this into the Share pod is that it's also sitting on the Connect server. What that means is that if I want to pick this presentation up say after a lunch or on another day, I can come in here to this menu. Instead of choosing to upload another copy of that PowerPoint file, because I have already uploaded it, I can simply hover over Recently Shared. Choose the Annual Report Presentation, and there. It's being shared. Now there is one final thing about this that makes this very convenient, and that is the fact that if I name this pod, then I can also get back to this pod if I should happen to put it away.
Let's take a look at what I mean. I am going to double-click on this and instead of calling it Annual Report Presentation.ppt, which was the file name. That's how Connect decided to name this Share pod. I am going to remove the ppt, and we'll just leave it Annual Report Presentation, we could put a year in this, so that we know what year we are talking about. Hit Return, and that's named to the pod. Now if I take this Share pod and hide it, and I want to show this content very quickly to an audience on another day or whatever, all I need to do is select Pods > Share, and instead of adding a new blank Share pod, I'm going to choose the Annual Report Presentation.
What's nice about that is that however that pod was configured, in this case it was actually set to Maximize and fill the screen. That's exactly how it will come back up when I share it again. So the Share pod is great for sharing content. But it's also somewhat of a portal through which I can take content from my local system and put it on the server. A little bit later, we're going to talk about how to manage that content on the server. But this is sort of your gateway to getting that process started. By simply uploading the file, it's now available to you.
The final thing that I want to point out about this is that I don't need to be working on this workstation. This has actually saved my bacon a few times where I've needed to present some information, but that information was either not available on my computer or for some reason I wasn't able to use my computer. All I had to do is jump into an Internet connected computer, open up the Share pod with the content in it that I wanted to share, and I'm good to go, because Connect stores it for me. So it's sort of like my content portal that I can carry around.
As long as I have access to the Internet, I can use a Share pod to show information that I've uploaded previously, and that makes the Share pod one of the most important tools inside Adobe Connect.
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