Like everything else in life, screen sharing is a great tool that can be a double-edged sword. It can be used to teach, demo features, give presentations, and enhance your video communication overall. However, giving visual access to your device can lead to various business faux-pas. Although these faux-pas can be hilarious from the perspective of the audience, you should do whatever you can to stop sharing documents incorrectly.

Hopefully, this article can keep your listeners from laughing at your expense.

When you are sharing documents, participants can see what you can see

Seems obvious, right? If you are just glancing over this article this is the one bullet point I’d like you to remember: Close all confidential information. There are SO MANY people out there that leave confidential information open while sharing their screen. This unexpectedly common occurrence is the easiest way to divulge information that is best kept secret; it can be an employee’s contract, details of another meeting, or even worse — client information.

Chat notifications will show up at the WORST possible time

A general guideline to avoid any mishaps is to purge your desktop of any personal elements, including the desktop background, personal tools such as social media, and even music that helps you work. All of these personal elements do not help the meeting and can take away from your presentation. Clean your desktop and set up a professional environment to set the tone for your presentation, leaving a reliable business impression.

Untested programs are the bane of your presentation

Everyone hates wasting time, which is why I seethe at the sight of a presenter trying to use unfamiliar technologies for the first time. Please, please test your software that you are going to use during the meeting to save yourself the embarrassment and un-professionalism of fumbling with technology while people are watching. I recommend going through a “dress rehearsal” one day before sharing documents, since many programs have frequent updates and feature changes.

Having the best content is not good enough — you need a PLAN!

Even though you may have the best presentation, if you have not planned out what you are going to say, you will be in trouble. Simply reading out any information that may be written out in your presentation is sure to get your audience snoring in no time; what you need is a list of points to add to each section of your presentation, at the very least.

Remember to stop sharing your document when you are done!

Always run through the tape as a runner — don’t walk across the finish line! When you have finally finished your awesome screen sharing presentation, make sure that the screen sharing is turned off! Or else even if you skillfully apply steps 1 through 4, all efforts will be wasted if you open up a private conversation 2 minutes after your presentation. Always close your screen sharing program after the meeting before you do anything else!

woman shielding her daughter's eyes from sharing documents

 

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