Visuals go a long way in conveying messages that spoken words cannot. For this reason, they are highly valuable during business meetings. Holding meetings through virtual means might pose a problem to efficiently using visual presentations. This is one of the challenges that the screen sharing feature of Google Hangouts, like other video call platforms, seeks to address. Yet, while having the tool is one thing, using it is quite another. Here, you will find how to make use of screen sharing on Google Hangouts. First, let us see why you would need to share your screen on Google Hangouts.
Why you should do screen sharing on Google Hangouts
There are several reasons why you should use the screen sharing feature of Google Hangouts. First, it meets the same purposes of physical visual boards and presentation. What this means is that you can communicate complex ideas in simple visual aids - graphs, charts, diagrams, etc. This will ensure that your audience understands the crucial ideas that you present to them. After all, a successful meeting is one in which its members share ideas and agree on common ground in the end. Screen sharing has a role in ensuring this. Aside from this, the following points make Google Hangouts beneficial -
Convenience - Your virtual meetings are more effective with screen sharing. You can conveniently share information, saving you the time and hassle of explaining certain data in abstract.
Easy sharing for time-conservation - Slideshares and presentations are easier to share with Google Hangouts since it does not require numerous steps. Also, the platform makes it possible to share your screen simultaneously while you continue talking. This makes it possible to shed light on the images, illustrations, or presentation without interruption. That way, you can enjoy seamless meetings. Hence, Google Hangouts screen sharing can ensure time-conservation and optimization in your meetings.
Screen control and privacy - As you do real-time screen sharing with ease on Google Hangouts, you still have control over your screen. You can decide what parts of your screen you want your audience to see. If you need to share your entire screen, then you have the option to do so. On the other hand, you may choose to show only individual windows on your screen. In this case, your audience cannot view your entire screen or any window that you would not want them to see. This feature of Google Hangouts screen sharing ensures that you maintain your privacy and screen control.
How to do Google Hangouts screen sharing
To begin, you require internet connectivity and an active Google Account. With those in place, these are the few easy steps you need to do Google Hangouts screen sharing on the webpage:
Getting to Google Hangouts
These are the steps to take to access Hangouts for screen sharing:
1.) Access Google Chrome.
2.) Open the Google Hangouts webpage and sign in with your Google Account information.
3.) Tap on the Video Call icon. You will be prompted to allow your Hangouts use your microphone and camera. Also, you will receive a prompt to invite the contact(s) you wish to add using the ‘invite people’ button or the add contact sign found on your screen’s top-right corner. You will be required to fill the email address of the contact you want to add. Select all the persons whom you want in your chat room.
4.) Now click on the invite button to continue.
Starting screen sharing
Now that you are in the Hangouts chat window and the call is on-going, do the following:
1.) Click the menu icon (three vertical dots) that is on the top right of your screen.
2.) Select the "Screen Share" option.
3.) In the prompt that follows, click on the option for the area of your screen you want to share. The default option is to share your entire screen. So, you can leave it at default settings if you wish to let the call participants see the contents of your whole screen. If you want to share only a few windows, then in the popup, move over to the application window. There, you can select the individual windows that you want to share with your audience.
4.) After selecting the area, clicking on "Share" will complete the process. In other browsers, this may appear as "Start Screenshare."
5.) In a few seconds, the feed you wish to share will load successfully. Now, you should click on "Present to everyone". Then, all participants in the chat room can view it.
6.) Go ahead to open any image, video, or window you wish to show. From now, all actions you perform on the shared window will be visible to participants.
If you would like to increase the number of people that participate in the call and can see your screen, then take these three steps.
After the first selected contact answers the call, click on the icon in the video call window to Add More.
Either copy the call link and share it with the contacts you want to invite or type in the invitee's e-mail address.
Wait on them to join in the conversation by accepting the call.
Note, however, that it is more preferable to add participants before the meeting begins or you start screen sharing. Like waiting for everyone to be present before starting a physical meeting, this will ensure that your meeting runs smoothly.
Ending screen sharing
When you finish displaying your presentation, ending the screen sharing takes only a few seconds. Simply go back to the active Google Hangouts window. Then, click on the "Stop sharing" button. You can find it on the taskbar at the top of your screen.
Terminating the video call will also end screen sharing.
Can you do screen sharing on the Google Hangouts application?
Unfortunately, the Google Hangouts mobile app does not support the screen sharing feature. You can, however, still make use or the app's video call and conversation settings. This will require only a few simple steps. To get started, download the application from Google Play Store. After that, these are the steps to take:
Sign in with your Google Account credentials.
Allow permissions, letting Google Hangouts make phone calls. You can now begin making conversations and calls.
Tap on the plus icon to start a conversation. Then, select New Video Call.
Select the name, email, or phone number of the person(s) you want to call and share screen with. If the person is not on Hangouts, the app will generate an invite message that you can share through an SMS.
Grant Hangouts permission to use device audio and video.
Tips to note when doing Google Hangouts screen sharing
While you take on the benefits of screen sharing on Google Hangouts, bear in mind the following:
After you click on the Share button, all screen actions become visible to the participants. Although you can select which windows to share, it would be best if you do not display any sensitive information. Hide details that you would not want the other person(s) to see.
To allow Google Hangouts to share your screen, the shared item should be in Full-Screen mode.
If you are assessing Hangouts from another tool, you may not find the screen sharing option under the menu. For example, with a Google Calendar Event, all you need to do is to locate the screen-sharing icon. This is a green square-shaped icon with a white arrow in it. It is on the left side of the call window.
Troubleshooting Google Hangouts screen sharing
You might have problems with screen sharing or with Google Hangouts itself. In any such situation, these troubleshooting points can help:
Change your browser
Since Google Hangouts is a tool from Google, it works best with Google Chrome browser. So, if you have issues with using your web browser, consider changing your browser to another, preferably Chrome.
Clear the cache
Browsers usually need their caches cleared with time and frequent use. When you clear the browser's cache, an updated Google Hangouts site will load instead of the old one in the cache. This could be the sole step you need to take to get Hangouts web running as usual.
The cache-clearing process is easy and quick, requiring only a few clicks. Simply go to the Settings of Google Chrome. Then, select Advanced to show advanced settings. This should be at the bottom of the Settings page. Next, clear the browsing data, you can find this under “Privacy and security”. Other browsers follow a similar process.
Update your Google Hangouts application
An application with outdated software cannot function optimally. Thus, to get optimum use of any app, you must ensure that the application is up-to-date with the most recent software.
If you experience issues with the Google Hangouts app on any mobile device, then you should try updating the app. While launching the app for the first time, be sure to grant the necessary permissions. Otherwise, the app would not run smoothly.
In some cases, issues with the app or screen sharing might persist. If so, delete and download the app again.
Screen sharing will make your business meetings more efficient, assisting you with providing visual aids. There is a list of things you could achieve through screen sharing. Tasks like sharing the live status of a project or giving a presentation, for example, require you to share your screen. The feature will also come in handy in informal settings, so whether with business partners or with family and friends, Google Hangouts screen sharing can be invaluable.