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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.
What we're looking at is sort of a standard configuration of Connect for our presentation. I've got a large Share Pod with some content in the Share Pod, I have an Attendee List so I can see who's in the room, and a Chat Pod so that people can interact with one another. One of the things that I like about Connect though, is that if you have a web camera connected to it you can actually use it for more of a videoconference solution, than just a presentation solution, and that's what we're going to take a look at here. First off, understand that people who are in the room as participants won't be able to do this.
So you'll either have to roll over their name and select Enable Video, or, a better strategy is to, under the Meeting menu, select Manage Access & Entry and make sure that Auto-Promote Participants to Presenters is selected, because if you do that, then the very act of them coming into the room will give them access to a camera. So I am going to go ahead and promote Kirk, make him a full blown presenter. Now the next step is to put a Camera Pod in place. So I am simply going to select Pods > Camera and Voice, and there we go.
Now at this point, people should be ready to participate in the process. So what I am going to do is just chat everybody to say, Hey all, start your web camera. And while people are doing that, I'm going to point something out. I'm actually using my Corporate Connect account for this demonstration because the 30-day trial account that I've had you set up if you've actually followed this from front to back, only allows there to be five people in a room, total. So I wanted a few more people than just that. That's why I am using my Corporate Account. There's another artifact that's kind of created by that.
The 30-day trial account may call this the Video Pod, not the Camera and Voice Pod. If yours is a little bit different, that's just an interface thing, don't worry about it, everything should be the same. So I am going to go ahead and start My Web Camera, give myself a few moments to make sure that I'm ready to go, click on Start Sharing. You can see that we get this nice sort of Brady Bunch effect, if you will, where all of the people in the Camera Pods are filling up the pod as much as possible, and that's why if I'm going to do Video Camera Chat, I am actually going to create a layout for myself that really maximizes the Camera Pod, so that everyone's face is big enough to be valuable.
Now, the other aspect of this is, are people hearing me? Well, they're probably not, because we don't have a conference call going and so the other thing that you'll want to do is make sure people understand how to use the microphone. So I am going to go ahead and connect my audio, and Kirk will do the same thing, so that he and I can talk to each other. And there we go, Kirk, can you hear me? Kirk: Yeah Tim. So this is actually a very useful and very viable audio conferencing, videoconferencing solution. At the end of any of my meetings that are more sort of intimate, if you will, or at least with a group of people that I really want to gather some feedback from, it can be very useful to set this up as a layout, and then bring people into the room, and use it so that when you're talking to them, you can actually see the expression on their face. Which is, believe it or not, pretty handy when you're looking for feedback from people.
The only other thing that you might want to do is if, in the middle of the conference, you get a phone call or you need to leave the room or something like that, I am going to hover over my name and just click the Pause button, so that I can pause myself. That just pauses my video camera, so that I can get up and leave or whatever, and no one will really know that I am doing it. The other thing I might want to do is let's say that Tom is becoming distracting somehow. Well, I am going to just make Tom go away, because as the host of the room, I can actually send people out of the room. And the only time I might actually do something like that is if Tom actually got up and left the room and there was nothing but blank there, or he was having a conversation that was off to the side, and he didn't realize that he was on camera.
Well, I might want to do that. And then finally, if for some reason I need to, as the host of the room, I can pause the other people in the room. One of the reasons that I might do that is, if I'm actually having a specific conversation with, say Kirk, I'll leave he and I going, if you will, or I'll leave our cameras active. He and I can have the conversation, everyone else can hear it, but we're not investing bandwidth and everyone else just kind of moving their ahead around and nodding or disagreeing or whatever. So videoconferencing with Connect is actually a very, very simple thing to do.
Activate your webcam, give people access to it. It might take a couple of sessions for people to get truly comfortable with it, but once you do, it's very, very useful, and it's something that I use frequently.
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