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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.
If you're like me and you have a Connect account, you probably just want to roll your sleeves up, get in, and get working. So what I am going to do now is give you a little quick start. I am going to show you how to set up a meeting. We are then going to log into that meeting, so that you can see how that process works. We will upload some content into the meeting. We will start audio and activate a webcam and then we will even invite people to the meeting so that we can present to them. After we are set and done, we will go ahead and close the meeting. That will give you the basics that you need to get started right away presenting with connect.
The first thing that we need to do is create a meeting, and I am going to select Paste because I have actually copied the URL to my connect server. This is going to take me into my Connect portal. Now hit Return and this is where we're going to start the process by creating a meeting. I'll use my login and password. My login is going to be an email address that I used for my username. My password is a password that either the administrator of the system assigned forming or if I am that administrator, I created for myself.
Now this is a 30-day trial of Connect and so I'm getting the expiration notification. If you're not using a 30-day trial you won't see this. So I am just going to select Don't Remind Me Again, and to create a meeting I am going to select Meetings. I have no meetings created. This is the first time I have done anything so I'm going to go ahead and select New Meeting. I will give my meeting a name. This is going to be a Sales Presentation and I'm going to get the meeting a custom URL.
And this is important because this meeting can always be accessed with this URL. It contains the base URL that we use to log into the portal in the first place with a slash and then the rest of the URL that I've chosen. I'm going to skip everything down to the access, because for this meeting I don't want to worry about limiting access. I want anyone who knows that URL to be able to enter the meeting. We will go ahead and scroll down and then I'm not going to include any audio conferencing with this meeting.
For your first few meetings, you may very well decide to either use a telephone conferencing solution that is in no way integrated with Connect or the built-in Voice over IP that comes as a part of Connect and I will show you how to do that. At this point we have created our meeting. I am simply going to select Finish. I can from right here select Enter Meeting Room or even click on this URL to jump into the meeting room. But I am going to do it a little bit differently because I want you to see what it looks like to log into a meeting for the first time.
So I'll go ahead and close my browser, restart my browser, and I'm going to paste the base URL in and then type in salespresentation and that will take me into a meeting. Now because I'm trying to log into a meeting room I have two choices here. I can enter as a guest and if I do I should make sure to put my name in here not something like guest or person or whatever. Because I do have a login on the system and in fact I am a host of this room because I'm creating this room, I'm going to use my login and then enter the room.
Now this is a default layout that connect creates for every room when you're just getting started and the first thing that I want to do while I am in here is put some content in the room that I plan to share with my audience. I'm going to use this large area here called a Share pod to upload a PowerPoint file that I plan to show off. So I am going to click on this little arrow here and choose Share Document. I will browse my computer and among the document types that I can share is PowerPoint.
I can also share JPEG files, PDF files, MP3 files, some video file types, and others. We will cover that later. At this point, all I want to do is share a quick presentation. Now this file here is among the Exercise Files that you'll have if you're a Premium subscriber. If not you can certainly feel free to choose your own PowerPoint file that you might want to use for an actual meeting. So I will click Open and then Connect will upload the PowerPoint file so that it can convert it and share it with your audience. If all I want to do is show this presentation to an audience, I suppose that could be done but there are another couple of steps that I want to take to make the meeting a little bit more meaningful.
First off, I am going to want to activate my microphone so that I can use Voice over IP to talk to my audience through their computer. To do that, I'm going to roll up over the little microphone icon and click Connect My Audio. The Adobe Flash Player is going to ask for permission to share sound through my computer to your computer. That's just to protect your privacy. I will only have to do this once per session. It won't happen every time I try to present. Now I can tell that my microphone is configured and working properly because I can see the little icon of sound waves emanating from the microphone itself.
If for some reason that's not working then I'm going to select Meeting and I'm going to run something called the Audio Setup Wizard. That's just a tool that will help me to configure my computer system so that Connect can access the microphone that it needs to be able to broadcast my audio. Now I'm almost ready to present but I want people to be able to see me using my webcam. So what I am going to do is come over here to the Video pod and I am going to select Start My Webcam. I'll preview myself to make sure that everything is okay.
I'll click Start Sharing and this is what the audience is going to see. Before I allow my audience to come into the room, I'm going to go ahead and pause my webcam because I'm going to take a few more steps to get myself configured and set up correctly and I don't necessarily want my audience to watch me doing it. By pausing the webcam, I've created a little picture of myself that they can look at. Now, I'm basically ready to go, although there's one more setup step that I may want to take before I start presenting in meetings. I'm going to click Stop Sharing.
At some point, I may decide that I want to share my screen because Connect can allow me to show my audience what I'm doing on my computer through this thing called the Share pod. When I click this button, the Adobe connect Add-in is going to ask for permission to install itself from the Connect server. This is actually a little tiny tool that will allow me to run my meeting in two ways that are very useful. One, I can use the Screen Share and the Screen Share is incredibly valuable because it allows you to do a lot of things that you might not be able to do through a Share pod otherwise.
And two it allows me to move my meeting outside of this browser window and fill my screen with the meeting interface, which will make it easier to work with. So in all cases as a presenter, I am going to want this. If this little dialog pops up, I will select Yes. The Add-in will download, install itself, the Meeting will jump outside of the browser window into the Connect Add-in, and I can tell that that's happened also because on my start bar or in my dokc, I will see this little icon as a separate application that's running. So my Meeting is configured. I'm almost ready to go.
I'm actually going to go ahead and select Recently Shared so that I can bring the Annual Report Presentation back to the screen and I am ready to invite my audience into the room. I will select Meeting > Manage Access & Entry > Invite Participants. Remember the URL that I created is a static thing. So, all I need to do is either copy and paste this out of this little dialog box by simply drag-selecting it and copying it, or I can even click Compose email in which case Connect will talk to my email client, compose an outgoing message with some information in it that all I need to do is address and send and my participants will have their invitation to the meeting.
Once they have it, they can go ahead and type it into their browser and they'll start to come into the meeting and I'll see them in the Attendee pod. So at the meeting start time, I will keep an eye on the Attendee pod for looking to join the meeting. Now that I see that there is at least another attendee in the meeting, I can click on this little triangle to see that Olivia has joined the meeting. I'm going to activate my microphone to allow myself to be heard. I'll start my webcam again so that Olivia can see who I am and last but not least if I want to give Olivia access to the meeting so that she can ask me questions and such, I'm not going to allow her to talk via Voice over IP; I am going to allow her to chat and to let her know that she can do that I'm going to chat her first.
And I'll watch the Chat pod to see that she's typing and I can see that she has responded. So I am going to go ahead and pause the camera because if the meeting is over, it's time to go ahead and wrap it up, so all I need to do is select Meeting, end the meeting, customize this type if I want to, click OK, and that will end the meeting. So there you have it. That's how to host a simple presentation meeting via the web.
Though there's much more to learn and much more that Connect can do, you're at least ready to get started with the basics. So join me for the rest of this training where I'll show you not just what Connect can do for you, but how you can use a tool like this to its fullest.
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