In case you’ve been living in an off-grid cave…online presenting is now the norm in many organizations across the world (largely thanks to a certain pandemic we won’t mention). As a result, new products and features that promise to make presenting online easier and more efficient are on the rise. Google Slides has recently introduced the Present to a meeting button, which allows you to present slides directly to Google Meet. Here at BrightCarbon we love a new feature, so read on for the lowdown on this latest offering.

(The Present to a meeting button is not to be confused with Google Slides’ long-standing Present button. If you want to learn more about what the Present button does, we’ve written a post about it here).

Where is the ‘Present to a meeting’ feature in Google Slides?

Navigate to the top right-hand corner of your screen. See that big white button that says Present? Ignore that! Instead, hover the blue arrow button immediately to the left of it and the words Present to a meeting will appear.

Screenshot of Google Slides presentation with 'Present to a meeting' button highlighted.

Clicking on the button will give you two options — either joining a meeting that’s already in your Google Calendar or entering a meeting code:

Screenshot of Google Slides presentation with 'Present to a meeting' options highlighted.

Option 1: Using Google Calendar

When you click on this option, the upcoming Google Meet events in your Google Calendar will appear. Click on the meeting you’d like to present to then click Present tab to meeting.

(Note that, at the time of writing, this only works with Google Meet events — Not great news for Zoomers/Teams users).

Screenshot of Google Slides presentation with 'Present tab to meeting' options highlighted.

Choosing what to share

A pop-up will appear allowing you to choose what you’d like to share. You can choose to share your current tab, another tab, a specific window, or your entire screen. You can also choose whether to share audio by checking or unchecking the box in the bottom left-hand corner of the pop-up.

Helpfully, each option shows you exactly what your audience will see, allowing you to avoid any embarrassing overshares (because let’s face it, no one needs to see THAT Spotify playlist).

 

Screenshot of 'Choose what to share' window in Google Slides with 'This Tab' option highlighted.

Sharing your current tab

To share your current tab, click on the image of the tab and then click the blue Share button in the bottom right-hand corner.

Screenshot of 'Choose what to share' window in Google Slides with 'Share' button highlighted.

Sharing another tab

Perhaps you’ve got a tab open that you’d like to share with the meeting. In that case, click on Other Tab, select the relevant tab from the list on the left, and then click the blue Share button.

Screenshot of 'Choose what to share' window in Google Slides with 'Other Tab' option highlighted.

Sharing a window

If you’ve got a separate window open that you’d like to share, click Window and then select the relevant thumbnail. Share it with your meeting by clicking the blue Share button.

Screenshot of 'Choose what to share' window in Google Slides with the 'Window' option highlighted.

Sharing your entire screen

The final option lets you share your entire screen. However, bear in mind that this means your audience can also see any open chats, web pages, or cat videos… so exercise caution.

Screenshot of 'Choose what to share' window in Google Slides with the 'Entire Screen' option highlighted.

Option 2: Entering a meeting code

The other option offered when you click on the Present to a meeting button in Google Slides allows you to join a meeting that’s not in your Google Calendar — provided you know its code or nickname. When you click this option, you’ll be invited to enter the code or nickname. Clicking continue will generate the same pop up as before, so you can choose your sharing options.

Screenshot of Google Slides with option to enter meeting code under 'Present to a meeting' highlighted.

So, how is Present to a meeting different from present mode?

The short answer is, it’s not massively different. However, Present to a meeting in Google Slides does have a few advantages. It aligns with your Google Calendar, so if you do a lot of work in the wider Google Workspace it might streamline things a bit. The Choose what to share pop-up is also a nifty feature for those of us who live in mild fear of sharing the wrong screen or tab in an online meeting (i.e. pretty much everyone).

However, we also noticed a couple of drawbacks. The biggest issue is that it’s not immediately obvious how to present slides in full screen when using Share with a meeting. If you know the steps, you can present slides in full screen — just select Entire screen when choosing what to share. After you start sharing, click the white Present button (yes, the one we told you to ignore earlier). Back in Meet, you’ll see your slides in full screen mode. So it’s doable, but perhaps not quite as intuitive as it could be – maybe have a practice before that big meeting.

The verdict

Share to a meeting isn’t a substitute for Present mode, but it can be a useful complement to it. We definitely recommend playing around with it, especially if you conduct a lot of work over Google Meet. If you need to quickly share a Google Slides document in an internal meeting using Google Workspace and grab some feedback from colleagues, it’s a quick and easy way to do so.

If you’ve found this useful, check out these other blog posts written by our Google Slides gurus: How to share your Google Slides presentation or Editing the Google Slides Master and Layouts. And, if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic and want the full run-down, grab a coffee and head over to our ULTIMATE guide to Google Slides.

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Isabel Alexander

Communication consultant

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Sep 2022

As presentation nerds, we at BrightCarbon have had plenty of opportunity to get to know ins and outs of Google’s browser-based presentation tool. This guide will cover everything you need to know about Google Slides - from the very basics to the most advanced features - and will provide you with the know-how to make brilliant slides, quickly and easily.

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