Tip o’ the Week #111 covered how to present within a Lync meeting. Given that it was 2+ years ago and many things have changed in that time, not least the version of Lync many of us use, here’s a chance to revisit the topic.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that PowerPoint is the most-shared application via Lync – the dreaded words, “Let me Share My Desktop”, followed by a scene (often at massive screen resolution) of the presenter’s own active Lync session, PowerPoint in a window, Outlook, etc. On a slow network connection, you might also have the joy of delayed screen refresh as the presenter moves their windows around, resizes them etc.
Presenting (on Lync, or anywhere, really) is like parking – few people would admit they aren’t very good at it, but anyone who is accomplished at it will witheringly spot a less than polished performance.
Here’s a screenshot from a recent Lync call – the presenter (whose anonymity has been maintained by blanking out both the content and some other details) shared out the screen to show a dense slide full of charts and small text annotations.
If you do need to share your desktop in a Lync meeting (you’re doing a demo, for example, and … er… that’s about it) then you should hide the “Currently presenting…” toolbar at the top of the screen so it doesn’t distract or obliterate part of the content you are trying to show. Just click the push pin on the right side of the bar to hide it.
In the screenshot above, the blanked-out grey square is the content which was being presented – at first glance, it doesn’t look like too much of the screen real estate is wasted, does it? In fact, pixel count measurement shows the active slide was taking up only a little more than 60% of the overall screen area – meaning the presenter was showing off 40% of wasted space just because they didn’t share the content properly. Imagine an MYR slide on only 60% of the screen…
If you have to present on Lync by sharing your desktop (e.g. you’ve been dropped in it at late notice), please, at least, start the PowerPoint presentation in full screen – fish about with your mouse, and click on the little presenter icon in the bottom toolbar on the PowerPoint app, like most amateurs and Mac users do. Or quickly press F5 like-a-PC-Pro to start a presentation from the beginning, or press SHIFT-F5 to present from the currently selected slide in all its animated, full-screen glory.
The downside is you won’t be able to read the comments coming in on the Lync conversation unless you’re using multi-monitor and can share the primary desktop whilst having the Lync window itself parked on your second screen.
What’s generally best, of course, but needs a little preparation (and why would anyone want to prepare in advance of a presentation? Answers on a postcard, please), is to upload your slides to the Lync meeting and allow yourself to see your content in a window alongside all the comments coming from the attendees.
All it takes is to drift a couple of icons to the right of the “Duh, Present My Desktop” icon, and instead select PowerPoint. The next step will ask you for the location of the presentation file you want to show – if in any doubt, just jump back to PowerPoint, open the file you’d otherwise be presenting, then go to the File menu and look for the “Open File Location” link at the bottom right. Right-click on it to Copy path – which will put the location (but not the filename itself) into your clipboard, ready for pasting into the Lync dialog, so you can then upload your slides straight into the meeting.
Do it this way – and nag every colleague who lazily just shares their desktop – and you’ll have a better Lync experience as a presenter, and you’ll present a better experience to the attendees. Unless you’re basically a rubbish presenter, that is.