As well as delivering training courses, I provide deskside IT support to hundreds of users.

Most people at my workplace now have laptops rather than desktop PC’s. As I go around people’s desks, I’ve noticed that many users work with the laptop lid closed but have the laptop connected to an external monitor.

One of the first things I tell them is that by opening the lid and configuring their laptop to use “extended desktop” rather than “cloned desktop”, they can use both screens and will have a much bigger working area. There’s a whole host of reasons for doing this…

Suppose you had to compare data on 2 spreadsheets. It’s a lot easier to do it where each one is maximised on a separate screen. Or what about having one monitor with your email and IM clients on it and the other monitor with your “real work” on it (e.g. a Word document or PowerPoint presentation you are working on).

When it comes to delivering a training course or presentation via Webex, there are a couple of benefits too:

Monitor the Questions

With an external monitor connected, selecting “Share Desktop” in Webex allows you to select which monitor to share. Whichever monitor you choose not to share should have the Chat Panel and the Participants Panel on it and that way you can constantly monitor for any questions and keep your eye on the attendees list (most people don’t have the benefit of a “meeting facilitator”).

Speakers Notes

Configure your computer to use extended desktop, tick the “Use Presenter View” box on the Slide Show tab in PowerPoint, enable “Share your Desktop” in Webex and run the Slideshow in Powerpoint.

Presenter View in PowerPoint

Assuming you have shared the monitor that the slideshow is running on, the other monitor should be displaying the “speakers notes view” which shows you a small version of the current slide, any notes that you typed into the “notes box” in PowerPoint for the current slide and thumbnails of the next few upcoming slides.