Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day Fifty-Two

Today, I learned the difference between “Pin Video” and “Spotlight Video” on Zoom. I was giving a speech at my Toastmasters club and wanted to show slides to accompany it. No problem – I shared the PowerPoint window so everyone could see it. I also had to be sure I could see the timer so I’d know when I was getting near the end of my allotted time, so I found him, selected “Spotlight Video” and started talking.

7 minutes later, I was finished; I unshared the screen and deselected “Spotlight Video” so I could see the speakers during the rest of the meeting.

When it came time for my evaluation, I was shocked to hear that my slides never advanced (so my title slide was on screen the whole time) and that the timer was the center of attention for EVERYONE!

It turns out that “Spotlight Video” is an action that only the host or owner of a Zoom meeting can use – it forces that person’s video to be nearly-full-screen for EVERYONE. What I wanted was “Pin Video”, which any attendee can use to make someone nearly-full-screen on their own screen, without affecting anyone else.

The title of my speech? “From Party Lines to Zoom: A brief history of teleconferencing”. At least I didn’t bill it as a “how to do it” talk!