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A few people have asked about good ways to share their PowerPoint slides when facilitating in Zoom so that they can still use the chat and participant panels without them overlapping their slides. 

I do this by having PowerPoint run in a window, rather than full screen, and then I can have the panels open as well as the control bar and the annotation toolbar if I'm using it. And it means that any annotations from attendees aren't covered by the open panels. 

This is a screengrab of how the screen could be setup as an example:


To do this in PowerPoint: on the ribbon, click the Slide Show menu.

Then Set up slide show.

There are various options to explore and experiment with.

Click Browsed by an individual (window).

Then run your presentation and adjust the window size and location to suit your setup and facilitation needs. In Zoom you then just share PowerPoint and all is good! Top tip, don't make the window size too small otherwise it will look blurry for participants. 

This is how I usually run my Zoom sessions – with the panels handy as well as my facilitator guide on one side of the screen. It means I can see engagement easily, and have my annotation toolbar on permanently and ready to use, without it being in the way. I have a bigger screen, so I can also have polls and breakout panels open and ready, but that's just a little bonus.

This setup does mean I'm not seeing any PowerPoint notes, however I use a separate facilitator guide, so that doesn't worry me. There are other options if this isn't right for you, look at this community post.


Over to you

How do you do your screensharing in Zoom? What tips do you have?

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  • This is really helpful! What I'm running into is that,I have to click off of the ppt to start screensharing. Then I have to click back to the ppt app (or screenshare), which the audience would see. I'm just trying to avoid the audience seeing the behind the scenes stuff.

    Woud you say the best option is to add a 2nd, personal, laptop to share screen?

    • Hi Shanna, when you click of the PPT to start screensharing, you aren't screensharing at that point, so people won't see anything. You should be running your PPT in presentation mode (ie without the slides on the left) already at that point, which may be the point of the question!

      For my sessions I don't use a second computer for the screenshare, only as an attendee view and backup. 

  • Great tips Jo!

    I recently ran a conference session using this technique.

    I found it really helpful that I could App share the PPT but still arrange the Participants Panel and Chat window how I normally have it when it viewing a session.

    One thing I did do was change the name of my PowerPoint document. It was for a free conference so I put out Website address and that we specialise in Virtual classrooms. The PPT name appears on the screen when you share this way.

    • Oooh love the website name as the PowerPoint file, nice!

      • Ah you did not notice that!?!?

        It was the corp webiste and then - Virtual Classroom and Webinar Courses

        • Actually I didn't, my spideysenses were focusing on other things. But it's one of those elements; not everyone will see, but some will and for them it's awesome. But I know our website, so I'm ok ;P 

          • The file name comes up on the recording also. So I think it looks better to have something like I have done ;)

            • The student becomes the master....

  • Thanks Jo, the Slide Show trick made a huge difference to what I could see (on my Mac, the slides ate the entire screen - not good!). Now I always have the various panels handy.

    The only annoyance now is having to take 2 pix of the poll results as the panel can't show all 10 items at once. 

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