What is Screen Sharing?

Jamie Davidson July 26, 2016

Screen sharing defined

Screen Sharing 101

New to screen sharing and online meetings? Not to worry. This online tool is a simple and powerful way to collaborate with teams, clients and other colleagues from anywhere around the globe. But what is it exactly? Screen sharing software allows people from a variety of distributed locations to view another computer screen in real-time.

When you share your screen, your meeting attendees can see exactly what’s happening on your computer desktop at the time it is happening. You can show documents, websites, presentations, videos, or anything else you can display on your computer screen. Your guests will be able to see you type, move items, and interact with anything as you would normally on the computer.

Why use screen sharing?

This collaborative technology creates a way for a group for people to literally get on the same page. By adding visual elements, screen sharing capabilities turn a conference call into an interactive, online meeting.

In contrast to a static presentation, screen sharing can be much more dynamic. The host can move between documents and sites easily and quickly. Presentations can be customized on the fly to meet meeting participant’s needs.

It’s a great way to share animated presentations in PowerPoint or Keynote and share a video. It also keeps you organized. You may choose to use dual monitors to share one screen and organize your personal notes on an unshared window. Screen sharing offers the flexibility you need for any type of meeting.

Furthermore, you can live text chat and transfer files so your attendees can send messages to the host and each other.

When is screen sharing used?

Screen sharing is a useful tool for any number of situations and industries such as:

  • Education & Online Courses
  • Sales Demos
  • Presentations & Reports
  • Training Sessions

In many cases, it’s faster to jump on to a web meeting than debate an issue over email or text message. Therefore you have fewer opportunities for confusion or miscommunication.

How does screen sharing work?

The host downloads a software program that allows them to broadcast their computer screen to others that join the meeting. They share a link with their meeting guests. Guest join the meeting on their computers by clicking the link. There is nothing for users to download.

When the host chooses to share their screen, the live screen will appear on their participants’ computers also. If the host has multiple monitors, the screen sharing software will ask which screen and application to display.

One important thing to note is that screen sharing is not video conferencing. Video conferences involve a live video and audio feed of the host and meeting participants. Screen sharing does not show the host or their surroundings, but merely the contents of the desktop screen. When searching for online meeting vendors, make sure to determine if you need screen sharing, video conferencing, or both. Screen sharing and video conferencing are not mutually exclusive and can be used together. If you require both functions, look for a comprehensive online meeting platform that offers both screen sharing and video conferencing.

You’ll find that presenting, demonstrating and collaborating via an online meeting is an excellent way to reach your colleagues and clients quickly and easily. Entrepreneurs to educators can find that screen sharing saves them time and money.

Don’t forget to sign up for a free trial of Web Meeting. Test how adding sharing technology to your next meeting increases productivity and engagement.