Video conference tools have become incredibly popular in the last months. They allow you to keep in touch with your team, contact potential customers and investors, and do pretty much everything you could do in person. But precisely because you’re not interacting face to face, getting your point across can be extra tricky. PowerPoint can help you close that gap and make more efficient video conferences. If you’re still figuring out how to add PowerPoint presentations to your video conference meetings, here’s all you need to know about Skype’s, Windows Teams’, Google Meet’s, and Zoom’s shared screen and presenter view features.
The Rise of Video Conference Tools
Video conferences have completely changed the way we communicate. Engaging with people geographically far away from us has been possible since many years ago. Phone calls and emails have become basic ways to communicate. But video conferences are by far the closest thing we have to face to face conversation. You’re not only able to listen to what they are saying in real-time, but also see them and take into consideration body language and immediate reactions.
But even more importantly, video conferencing has also very interesting advantages. Firstly, you can record and save conversations you have through video conferencing. You don’t have to rely on someone taking notes, or your memory to know exactly what you said. And while it’s also possible to record face to face conversations, it’s definitely an advantage to able to do so directly and without the need for extra equipment.
Secondly, video conferences offer the possibility of directly sharing audiovisual complements that will illustrate your points. When doing this on a face to face meeting, this needs to be planned beforehand, as you’ll need a projector or screen for your audience to look into. Since video conferences are hosted through mobile devices or computers, every single participant has by the fault the ability to share and receive information immediately. Whether it’s a document, a link, audio, video, or anything else, it’s all at hand’s reach.
PowerPoint presentations can be extra useful for video conferences. Thanks to features like Skype’s share screen or Zoom’s presenters’ view, participants can share their screen in real-time and make sure everyone is looking at the same point.
Popular Video Conference Tools for Businesses
There are dozens of different video conference tools available nowadays. Every communication and social media app seems to have its own. We have here compiled some of the most popular and well-known video conference services for businesses. All of these have different options you can use with PowerPoint presentations. Whether it’s sharing your screen or a “presenter view”, these video conference tools will allow you to take full advantage of your PowerPoint presentation.
Skype is one conference tool that the most experienced ones will certainly recognize. It might be a surprise for some of you, but Skype is still around! And despite the wide array of video conferencing options nowadays, it’s still a good tool to consider.
In 2011, Skype was acquired by Microsoft and has since become integrated with the whole suite of features it offers. If you have a Microsoft account, you can access directly through skype. Even more, you probably already have it installed! The best thing about Skype is that it has a web option, so even if you don’t have the app in your device, you can still use it.
Skype also includes a world-wide telephone call feature. You can put credit into your account, and Skype will allow you to make telephone calls to anywhere in the world for a pretty low fee. Great for emergencies!
Google Meet, previously known as Google Hangouts, is a great video conference tool for those who work with the whole G Suite. It integrates seamlessly with other Google features, like calendar, or Gmail. Just like Skype, it can be used from a web browser without the need for an app. But have in consideration that Google Meet is only supported by Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. So if you currently use some other web browser, you might want to pick another option from this list.
Skype’s older brother, Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s own video conference tool. Its design is very business based, and just like Skype, works best if you already run with the whole Microsoft Suite. So if you’re someone who works with Office and Outlook, then Microsoft Teams is definitely the one for you. The best thing about it is that it’s fully integrated with many other business tools. For example, Slack.
Finally, Zoom. In the last months, Zoom has become the default video conferencing tool all around the globe. It was designed for business meetings and offers some great features that will help your conferences be more efficient. However, it has one very big drawback. For free sessions, there is a time limit of 40 minutes per session. Of course, you can always open a new video call right away, but the 40-minute line can be quite annoying when you’re in the middle of a call.
Screen Sharing for Video Conferences
So, how to include your PowerPoint in your meeting when you’re using any of these video conferencing tools? All of these have an option for it, and it’s pretty similar and easy to use. The feature “share screen” (or Zoom’s presenter view) will allow you to showcase your desktop screen in real-time, and be sure that they’re following you point by point.
You just need to have your PowerPoint (or whatever you want to share in your meeting) open in another tab, and follow these quick instructions!
Screen Sharing in Skype
Using a PowerPoint presentation for Skype video conferences is pretty easy. On both desktop and web browser, you just need to look for the screen sharing button . You’ll find this one on the lower right-hand side of the screen, next to “Chat” and “More” buttons. On other mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, you’ll find the same sharing button under the “More” option.
Once you click on it, you just need to pick what you want to share with your audience, whether it’s your whole desktop or just a specific tab. If you want to share a PowerPoint presentation during your video conference, you can choose just that app.
Present Option in Google Meet
Just like Skype, Google Meet also has a Presenter View. Look for the Present now button at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Google meet also allows you to choose what specific part of your desktop you want to share: your entire screen, a window, or a chrome tab. So if you want to add a PowerPoint presentation to your video conference, is very easy and straight forward. Make sure you have your presentation opened before you pick Present now > A Window. A new window will showcase all the windows you have open at the moment. Pick your PowerPoint presentation, and click Share.
You can also choose the Presenter View from the get-go in Google Meet. Take into consideration that if you join a meeting just to Present, no audio or video will be shared with your audience. To do this, pick the Present option instead of “Join now” on the waiting page just before joining a video conference.
For adding a PowerPoint presentation to your video conference, Microsoft Teams has the “Share” button. You’ll find it when you hover over the lower section of your screen. The Shre symbol is right in the middle of the options bar that will pop up. In the Share ribbon, you’ll find similar options for the presenter view, just like in the other video call tools. Desktop will show your entire screen, while Window will let you pick from a specific app. Microsoft Teams’ main difference is that it has an option exclusively for PowerPoint. In this section of the Share ribbon, you can pick a PowerPoint for you to present on your video conference. And for a document that you can’t find under any of the previous options, the Browse option will let you search for any file.
Presenter View in Zoom
The share feature works pretty much the same way in Zoom meetings. The Share Screen button is located at the bottom of the screen, next to the Chat option. Once you select it, a new window will pop-up to let you pick what to share with your audience. You can choose from sharing your entire desktop, or an individual application. And you can choose Advanced for other sharing options, like for example, sharing just audio from your computer. Finally, the Files option allows you to share a document from a specific location on your computer.
Aside from Zoom’s Presenter View, you can also choose to share your PowerPoint as your background. Zoom digital background will help you create a more immersive and engaging experience, so it’s definitely a great option for making a unique presentation! Take into consideration that to be able to use this feature, you’ll need to have PowerPoint installed locally and Zoom’s Desktop App version 5.2.0 (42619.0804) or higher. You just need to select Share > Advanced > Slides as Virtual Background > Share. You’ll then be able to pick whichever PowerPoint file you want to use in your Zoom video conference.
As you can see, all these video conferencing tools have pretty similar features. Whether it’s called share screen or presenter’s view, all of these made sure that you can add PowerPoint presentations seamlessly into your video conference. Whichever to pick depends completely on which fits better your team needs and which one you feel most comfortable with. But they are all great options for using PowerPoint in your video conferences.