“Ok, I’m going to switch to presenting now… Can everyone see the presentation?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t see anyone whilst I’m presenting, so if you’ve got a question or comment please speak up.”
These are very familiar phrases to those of us who regularly host online presentations, and they became even more familiar during the pandemic years. It’s one of the things that I found most frustrating about working in my home office – as soon as I switched to presenting a slide deck, I lost the ability to see the other people on the video call.
Like most people, I tried to find work-arounds with the most popular one involving me accessing the call via my phone as well as my laptop so I could continue to see the other participants whilst I presented. Not the best way to run video calls!
Now, though it looks like that might be going away, at least for people who use Google Meet and Google Slides (which is hopefully you, dear reader!) As part of their ongoing attempt to deliver immersive connections, the Google Meet team have devised a way to place the speaker’s video directly within their slides – they’re calling it “Speaker Spotlight” and it looks something like this:
How cool is that? Pretty cool I think!
But when will we be able to see it in real life? Well according to the Google Cloud Blog it will be available in private preview later this year. Given it’s already mid-October that means some of us will be seeing it pretty soon!
How can you use this new feature as a micro, small, or medium business owner?
Even though Google’s example is all about working with a company that has teams working from different locations (both in the office and from home), this feature has obvious advantages for us micro, small, or medium business owners.
Whether we’re presenting to a client; contractors; or perhaps even our own team members, having the ability to bring ourselves and our content together like this, is a huge improvement. No more having people’s attention split between yourself and your presentation – they’ll see you front and centre of their screen.
Do you have to use the feature?
Ok, even though personally I think this is a great feature and can see myself using it quite a bit once it rolls out, I totally understand that there are situations where it might not be appropriate. And luckily Google’s thought of that too.
Once this feature is rolled out, you have the option to select a cover page with the Speaker Spotlight feature when creating a slide presentation. Then, when you present that slide deck, Speaker Spotlight will be present without any further setup necessary.
If you don’t want to use Speaker Spotlight, don’t select that particular cover page and just create the slide presentation as per normal.
Look, I’ll be honest I have quite a few questions about how this will roll out in reality – especially when it comes to those busy slides that some people (not you!) are so fond of creating – but I look forward to the opportunity to test it out once it does roll out.
Want more personalised help?
I hope this article was of assistance to you, but if you want more personalised help then why not get in touch?
I specialise in helping small business owners just like you work better with Google Workspace so you can save time and money by streamlining your business processes; increasing your productivity; and improving client and employee comunications.