One of the most common reasons to broadcast an event is to be able to give a presentation to a virtual audience rather than just those who are in your local venue or office.
Showing a presentation will involve some form of capturing a computer's screen. Depending on your encoding solution, you may also be able to do a picture-in-picture effect, in which your presentation and your camera are shown at the same time. You will also want to be mindful of your audio output and avoid echoing.
In this article:
Browser-based broadcaster page
Our browser-based broadcasting tools include a built-in screen sharing feature allowing you to share a browser tab, application window, or entire screen. This is ideal for simpler streaming setups (e.g. a webinar or a tutorial). Note that there are some differences depending on your event type:
- Recurring events and webinars use our broadcaster page which supports screen sharing from Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. You can also invite a guest speaker to present.
- One time events use our classic browser-based encoder, which supports one webcam source and screen sharing from Chrome only.
The Slides feature allows you to use slides during a presentation. You can upload slides files in .pdf and .pptx formats to present in a stream instead of just screen sharing a presentation. The slides files can be up to 100MB and currently, only static images will be shown.
You can upload slides from the Slides icon on the left sidebar of the broadcast page that includes all of your production elements such as guest speakers, videos, and images. Click the Slides panel, upload any files in .pdf or .pptx format.
💡Tip: If you selected the wrong file and it starts uploading, click the (X) icon that appears in the placeholder to cancel the upload.
Add those slides to a scene.
Once a slide is added to a scene, both the broadcaster and any guest added to the scene have the ability to navigate backwards and forwards through the slides deck.
Any users added to the scene will appear in a picture-in-picture alongside the slides deck, which can be hidden by turning off their video feed. The broadcaster can also go to Controls > Hide speakers to hide the camera view.
For a more advanced setup, Livestream Studio for Windows and Mac includes numerous features to help you accomplish this. One software license is included with a Vimeo Premium membership; two licenses are included with Vimeo Enterprise.
To bring your screen in as a source in Livestream Studio, you can use one of the following methods:
- Add the presenter as a Remote Guest (recommended). This works very similarly to the screen sharing feature in the Browser-Based Encoder, and it does not require the presenting computer to be connected to your network or even in the same location, making this most likely the simplest solution.
- Send the invite URL to your guest, which they should open in Google Chrome.
- They can then select Share screen, select their screen sharing method ("Application Window" may be best for this use-case), and their screen will replace their camera.
- This feature is detailed here.
- Screencapture from another monitor on your Studio desktop. If the presentation is going to be controlled from the same computer on which Studio is running, open the presentation in a second monitor and bring it in as an input. Note this may tax your CPU.
- Use your computer's HDMI output to plug directly into Studio. Many laptops include an HDMI output. Use an HDMI cable to connect the presenting computer to an HDMI capture device connected to the Studio computer. This method often requires converting the video signal coming in from the presenting computer.
For all of these, be sure to add the input within the software so that you can switch it into view when ready.
Once you get your presentation into Studio as an input, you may opt to show the presenter's camera input at the same time, known as a picture-in-picture. This will utilize the graphics overlay designer. We generally recommend keeping the presentation slides in most of the screen and having the presenter's camera smaller in an opposite corner, such as the image below:
Don't forget about audio. If you are using Studio, make sure you are familiar with how the built-in audio mixer works. For example, if the person presenting is using a microphone and using the remote guest feature, you should be sure to mute the "Remote" source and lock their microphone audio on (i.e. click the source's corresponding "Audio" button so it turns red) in the audio mixer. This way, your viewers will only hear one clear audio source when the presenter is speaking.
Keep in mind that regardless of your workflow or encoding solution, streaming a presentation should be tested and rehearsed before your event.