Near the end of my monthly Learning Lab workshops, I always ask participants to share their biggest takeaway from the session.
It’s happened on multiple occasions that more than one person has typed in the chat something to the effect of:
“How do you do those cool slides???”
They’re referring to slides like these, with graphics that seem to float over me:
And like these, where I move around in a little bubble on top of a slide:
Now, I must confess, sometimes it’s a bit disconcerting that people are so interested in my slides, when, to me, they’re simply a spice, not the main course.
After all, my special sauce is really my F.U.N. Method™, in which I teach through activities and experiences.
Participants come to their own learning insights through active-learning, not by passively receiving content
In fact, because my style is so experiential and activity-driven, I do my best to avoid using slides wherever possible. (No “Death by PowerPoint,” please!)
That said, when used thoughtfully, visuals can be a powerful way to engage, surprise, and delight our participants.
I’m not a huge fan of using the Share Screen function, if I can avoid it, as I feel like it puts a barrier between me and the participants, and the participants and each other.
Instead, I like to use a tool called Ecamm Live (aff).
ECamm lets me turn my entire Zoom window into a visual playground!
I can create graphics (in Canva, or Photoshop, or wherever I want), and turn those into “scenes” in Ecamm.
(Tip: For those transparent images, make sure to save your graphics as transparent PNG files!)
Then inside Zoom (or whatever meeting or streaming platform I’m using), I simply select Ecamm as my camera, and whatever scene I select will take over my window.
It takes a lot of prep work to create slides in Ecamm, but so does crafting any good slide deck. And once I’ve done the prep, now, instead of having to share screen, all I need to do is spotlight my window and I’m good to go!
No more worrying about whether the Share Screen function is enabled, because you don’t have to use it! Though remember, you do want to be spotlighted when you’re presenting, so someone else’s stray cough doesn’t pull focus to their window.
(Tip: To make sure any text on your slides shows up as crisp and clear as possible to participants, ask Zoom customer support to enable “Group HD Video” on your account. Otherwise your slides may appear crisp to you, but blurry to others.)
Using Ecamm in this way is an elegant solution that also allows me to be part of my presentations — side-by-side, embedded, or floating on top in a variety of shapes.
Really, anything goes!
Coming at you from inside an iPhone!!
And as that floating-bubble-Melissa demonstrates above, Ecamm allows for a lot of live interactivity as well.
Plus: Ecamm Live is not just a slide deck creator. In fact, it’s a full broadcast production studio.
What I’ve shown here barely scratches the surface of what you can do with Ecamm Live. You can incorporate all kinds of sound effects, animations, and more!
Yes, there are some cons to Ecamm Live.
First, Ecamm Live is not free. As of this writing, you can get a 14-day free trial, but after that, to access the features you’ll need for what I do, it’s a hefty $384/year, or $40/month. Ouch!
Second, Ecamm is a Mac-only product, so if you’re running on a PC, you’ll have better luck with a similar program that was developed for Windows (though it also works on Mac): mmhmm.
Alternatively, check out OBS Studio, which is a free, open source software for Windows, Mac and Linux that does pretty much everything Ecamm Live does… just a lot clunkier and less user-friendly. (It’s actually what I started with!)
ECamm Live has become one of my go-to tools for virtual facilitation, because of the way it helps me spark up my visuals and add an extra dose of delight to my sessions.
Now that you’ve had a taste, I’m curious, do you see yourself trying it, or a similar tool?
Interested to learn more? Message me to chat about how I can use my signature system to help your employees infuse connection, joy and delight into virtual meetings, trainings and events at your workplace.
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