And once again… yet another posting from one of our internal Connect experts here at Adobe..Ryan Monger from our conferencing services group…
One of the most powerful features in Acrobat Connect is the ability to create different layouts in your meeting rooms. We all know that you can prepare as much as possible for a meeting/eSeminar, but inevitably, there are always changes that occur during the meeting.
This brings us to the awesome feature that is “prepare mode”. This feature allows a host to go behind the scenes and add or change layouts. For example, did you need to add a note to your current layout but don’t want to disturb the meeting in progress? Go into prepare mode, make a copy of the current layout, and then add a new note pod to the desired location. When you are finished, exit prepare mode and switch to the new layout. Because you copied the current layout, whatever is being shared (ie – another presenter’s screen share or a ppt) will be cloned in the new layout, and your note will “magically” appear. I use this all the time to add information to layout when I don’t want to distract the participants.
There are two easy ways to enter into prepare mode. First, you can click on the Prepare mode button, which is located on the layout bar underneath the stage. It’s the first one and it looks like a ruler. Or, you can go to Meeting>Prepare mode. Once you are in prepare mode, an icon with a pop up will appear in the upper right corner of your screen. The current layout will be slightly gray, and you won’t be able to make changes to anything in the presenter only area.
Another great trick with the prepare mode is to turn on/off a voice/camera pod that is hidden underneath another pod. Instead of moving the overlaying pod to start the voice/camera pod, go into prepare mode and move to the next layout. In the next layout, move the pod covering the camera voice and then start your voice/camera. This is a magic trick I use for all the eSeminars I produce. Be sure to have a voice/camera pod in each layout or your voice/camera will be unshared when you switch to a layout without one.
One last advanced trick that I use with prepare mode is to stage multiple screen shares from multiple presenters. For example, we have a quarterly employee meeting that we also broadcast over Acrobat Connect. Because this is a live meeting in front of a large in house audience, it is often cumbersome to have each presenter share their screen when it is their turn to demo. To make the transitions between demos go smoother, I have all the presenters login before the meeting as hosts. I have each of them enter into prepare mode and switch to their preset layout. Then I have them share their desktop. Because they are in prepare mode, their shared desktop is “staged” until the producer makes that layout active for all participants. You can stage multiple presenters at once, with each presenter in a different layout. As soon as the producer switches layouts, the previous desktop share is deactivated. The best part about this trick is that it is transparent to the audience.
What do you use the prepare mode for? Use your imagination!