Presenting Securely on Google Meet – 2023 Update

Our last video on Google Meet was back in 2021 where Fintan went through the interface. Today we’ll be going through the screen sharing function on Google Meet. It’s something we often get asked a lot of questions about so this is what we’ll cover on our tech tip Thursday this week!

From this video you’ll learn the following:

  • Where the “present” function is within Google Meet
  • What the options are for presenting and what to avoid
  • Sharing your entire screen
  • Sharing a window (i.e. a browser)
  • Sharing a tab
  • Sharing within an editor application (Docs, Slides etc.)

What the options are

Within Google Meet you’ll find 3 buttons available when you click the Present option. These are sharing your entire screen, sharing a window and sharing a tab. These all have different functions and when selecting them you should consider what the purpose of presenting to the current Google Meet participants is. If you’re looking to avoid sharing confidential information then sharing your entire screen is often one to avoid, however it does have a purpose such as to get help from technical support.

Sharing your full screen

Upon selecting “your entire screen” this will pop out a window which gives you options to choose from. If you have multiple screens you can select here which screen you wish to share. Once you select the option it will become highlighted with a blue border and then you are able to share the option you’ve chosen to the rest of the call. At this point all participants are able to see your entire screen so if you exit to desktop, participants will be able to see every action you take and all information that you have displayed. This means confidential information could be shared such as important documents or personal information. 

Unless there’s a need for users to see your entire screen this isn’t always the best method to present. There are, however as mentioned above certain use-case scenarios where it’s advantageous to do so such as getting technical assistance or collaboration with other teams where there is a need to work on multiple platforms with others such as 3rd party software that cannot be viewed within a browser window.

Sharing a Window

Another option available to users who are presenting via Google Meet is the ability to share a window. This means you can share the contents of a browser window quickly and easily with other participants. As before, you get the option to select the window you wish to share and then when you click share it becomes visible to all participants. This is useful when you’ll need to flick between tabs on your browser to share information this way. There is a hidden danger in doing this however, as if there are any tabs you don’t wish the users to see, you could accidentally navigate to them. The users on the call will also be able to see all of the tabs you have open, so if there’s any confidential or personal browsing, call participants might be able to see this activity. 

Sharing a window is useful for workshops and team meetings where you’ll need to go through different documents with the participants. There is the option to minimise the window view and resize, split or quadrant the window, however this can result in participants struggling to see the information displayed with it possibly becoming illegible. What we recommend here is setting up an entirely new window that will only have the information or documents you wish other participants to see, meaning you can freely navigate the tabs without worry that anything they shouldn’t see will be displayed. 

Sharing a tab

Also within the Google Meet interface is the ability to share a single tab within a browser. Ensure you pick the correct tab to share and then the share button will become active which will then display your selection to the participants on the call. 

This does present some new options too, as it shows that you’re sharing the tab and gives you the ability to quickly stop sharing the tab with users on the call and switch back to the Google Meet tab itself.

Within the Google Meet tab, this works the opposite way and will immediately switch you back to the tab you were previously sharing. If you navigate to another tab within your browser, the option will change to “share this tab instead” which will allow you to switch the tab you’re sharing to the one you select this option on. 

This view is much more private as users are only able to see the information displayed on the tab, they can’t see the navigation of the presenter or any of their other tabs. It is best to keep a close eye on the tab you are sharing as often if you navigate elsewhere you’ll need to share the tab itself again otherwise participants won’t see the information you’re presenting. This is often the safest, most secure way to present as it ensures that all personalisation is removed from the browser window and only the information you’ve chosen to display is being presented at that time. 

Sharing within an editor application

There is another option available, exclusive to users of Google Workspace applications that allows users to share directly from the tab they’re editing in. In the top right hand corner of the window you’ll see an icon that is a multi-coloured camera icon. Selecting this will give you two options, one to “Bring the call here” and the other to “Just present this tab”.

In this particular case, Google already recognises it is a slide deck being shared and will automatically switch to presenter mode for the user. Presenter controls will appear within the window allowing for the presenter to navigate between slides as they would if they were presenting directly from the application outside of Google Meet. Having this functionality is very useful as it allows for participants and the presentation to be displayed on the same screen with controls active. If there’s input from others on the call, this means you can see who is speaking and their level of engagement if they’re on webcam.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this Tech Tip Thursday update looking at presenting securely in Google Meet. There’s multiple options available for those who have different requirements when it comes to screen sharing.

As always, we want to hear from you. Is Google Meet something your business needs to know more about?  Let us know in the comments on our YouTube channel or contact us for more information hereAs a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner Program, Damson Cloud specialises in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion the very best practices in remote working and change management, helping companies and their teams collaborate productively from anywhere in the world. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.

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