Performance Hack – Zoom trick & the Royal Welsh Conservatoire

This afternoon I was a guest speaker at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, speaking to the string students about performance. I was actually a virtual speaker, which is more and more common these days, and I prepared a lovley powerpoint but zoom (and teams) have this annoying thing when you share screen. ~The speaker becomes a tiny box. It doesn’t help for the speaker to be really tiny. Slides are useful to see, but I want to deliver the session, and a 2 cm square version of me is just not good enough.

So what to do about it?!?!?

(just live with it; that’s what everybody does)

Um, no. It’s time for a Performance Hack!

That’s right. Work it so the system works for you – It is fun and this one is easy to do! 🙂

Here’s how to make your picture whatever size you want, for free and with only about 3 or 4 clicks.

1. Load whatever  camera is on your system. I used my facetime camera. Open it and drag the window off to the left. This hides whoever you have been calling recently, and leaves your video feed on the screen. (we’re halfway there already!) You can size the window as you please.

2. In PowerPoint, click the ‘setup slideshow’ and select the ‘browse by individual window’ option. (shown below)This means your slideshow doesn’t take up the whole screen, but it will present in it’s own window… next to your facetime screen!!!!!

This is obviously way more exciting than it should be, but it was such a revelation for me! So this whole setup has literally been 4 clicks. Open FaceTime, drag it over, click setup slideshow, drag that window!

When you share your screen on zoom/teams, you can shut off your camera to ensure you don’t have two demands on the facetime camera, but I don’t know that is necessary. (today I might have forgotten to shut off my camera on zoom before screen sharing, and everyone said they could see me fine) – and I could be normal sized! YAY!!! This was great as I wanted to demonstrate things on my cello, use expression that people could see, and feel that I could genuinely communicate with the listeners.

You can guarantee I’ll be using this little trick again. -and now you can too! 🙂

It’s a good start to a new month!

…and it’s another bit of #YesICan

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