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How to see PowerPoint presenter view when sharing your slides and video in a Microsoft Teams meeting

Diving further down the rabbit hole of sharing both your video and content in a Teams meeting, this post explains how to share your PowerPoint slides and your webcam feed while still giving you access to PowerPoint presenter view.
Published on
September 18, 2020

Slideshow + Presenter View + Video

I wanted to expand a bit on a previous post about displaying your face and content simultaneously during a Microsoft Teams meeting. A number of comments popped up asking if you can specifically present PowerPoint slides, see presenter view in PowerPoint, and show your camera’s feed. Well, I’m happy to say you totally can. For a video version of this post (you probably want to watch since this is a demo-heavy concept), click play below.

The goal today is to be able to present PowerPoint slides, share your webcam’s video feed, and still be able to see and use PowerPoint’s presenter view, which gives you previews of upcoming animations and slides, displays your slide notes, and lets you jump between slides. The screen with the slides and the video feed can be shared in a Microsoft Teams meeting, which gives you the ability to show your video feed and your slides at the same time, in a configurable way.

The solution can be done many ways and it boils down to this: you need two screens and you need a camera or media app that 1) can show your webcam's video feed and 2) is able to have its window set to always on top, so the slides don’t overtake the video window. Then you just share that screen in your Teams meeting. Heck, if you know how to do that already, you can stop reading now. If you don't, that's what this post is for.

Presenter view looks different across Windows and Mac. This screenshot is from macOS. Your version may not look exactly like this, but it should be similar.

You need two screens

The prerequisite for being able to do this: you need to be using two screens. Whether that’s a laptop and a second monitor or a desktop with two monitors or even a laptop and a projector or smart board or something else, it doesn’t really matter. Incidentally, for some best practices on using two screens in a Teams meeting, see my recent post on that.

Presenter view in PowerPoint generally only shows when you have two screens going. It was always intended for a presenter at a lectern who needs to see notes and upcoming slides on screen one (the laptop) while the audience sees screen two (the big screen), but it’s become that much more useful for those of us who are lucky enough to have two monitors.

Get your slideshow set up

Following the main tip I mentioned in my post on using two screens in a Teams meeting, start up a slideshow and whichever screen shows the slides is the one you want to share. The other one is your safe space and should show presenter view. Close your slideshow for now. We’ll come back to it later.

How to do it on macOS

What we really need is a way to show your face on top of your slides.This works flawlessly with macOS using QuickTime Player, so let’s cover that first. Open QuickTime, click File > New Movie Recording.You’ll see your face looking back at you.  Now, all you have to do is click View> Float on Top. Launch your slideshow again. Your face stays on top.Move it around, resize it, do with it what you will. When you’re in your meeting, share this screen. As is typical with Mac, it just works.

How to do it on Windows 10

Now, Windows 10 was another story. There were a number of complaints from the last video about the built-in camera app in Windows 10. It has too much chrome on it that gets in the way. Having done some investigating, I can’t say I disagree. Man, QuickTime just does it so well! Unfortunately, QuickTime for Windows was discontinued a while ago.

But fear not: there is a way to do it almost as cleanly onWindows, and with a built-in way to stay on top of PowerPoint to boot. Unlike my other post, this does require downloading extra software; however, this software is free and extremely well vetted and trustworthy. You want to download VLC Media Player, which has been one of the best-known open-source media players for almost twenty years now.

Once you’ve got the app downloaded, you’re going to need to set up the connection to your webcam and also tweak some settings. I apologize now for the level of detail you need to get into, but there’s not much of a way around it that I know of.

  1. Open VLC and click Media > Open Media CaptureDevice.
  2. Select your webcam in the video device drop down. The video size needs to be 1920x1080; use an x between the numbers.
  3. Click Advanced options.
  4. Change the picture aspect ratio to 16:9; use a colon between the numbers.
  5. Change the frame rate to 30.
  6. Click OK
  7. Click the arrow next to Play and click Stream.
  8. Click through all the options. Once through, you’ll see your face!

Now, one issue you may face is the video is flipped horizontally, a mirror image. You might not be able to tell in this image, butI sure could. To fix this, go to Tools > Effects and Filters—or just type Ctrl+E—then click the Video effects tab > Geometry tab. Check the Transform box. In the drop down, select Flip horizontally. Alright, we’ve got that fixed. Now we need to set the window to always be on top. Click View > Always on top.

Now let’s start the slides again. Now you should see yourself on top of your slides! The last issue I see here is all the buttons we have that we don’t need; it’s reminiscent of the Windows camera app. Thankfully you can hide the buttons by going into minimal view mode by typing Ctrl+H. I can move the window around and resize not only at the start but during the slides. I can also snap the windows side by side, just for a throwback to the earlier post.

Alright, that was time consuming. And as far as I can tell, you have to do that every time you open up VLC player. I could see there being a way to save the settings—admittedly I didn’t do any real searching on that one—but it wasn’t anything obvious.

That said, this situation is also pretty unique and niche, so if you’re looking to use it, you likely are as nit picky and perfectionist as I am, so you’re willing to put in the minute or so to get set up. And it really only takes a minute for a lot of gain, so I wouldn’t complain too much.

And now would be the time to share your screen in the Teams meeting. I’ve heard from a number of Windows users that if you’re in the meeting already and you try to open one of these camera apps, the camera app squawks and says there’s no camera. It turns out Teams is just hogging the feed; just disable the camera in Teams and restart VLC or the other camera app.Another issue I don’t have on Mac—amazing!

Some insights

If you present like this frequently, you might want to design your slides to have a blank space to account for your video size and location so you’re not constantly moving the window around.

Take full advantage of the presenter view screen. Just because you have presenter view on that screen doesn’t mean you can’t move around to other apps on that screen, especially if you want to keep the Teams meeting window open on that screen so you can oversee the participants and chat while you’re presenting. Simply type Alt+Tab (Command+Tab on Mac) to jump between apps. Unfortunately, on Mac you’ll notice the top toolbar pops up on top of your slides when you switch apps, but that’s a small price if you ask me.

Like all the workarounds I’ve mentioned for Teams meetings, this still isn’t perfect. It takes a little thought and—especially onWindows—some time investment and practice. But it can make the difference between a sloppy, frustrating experience and a smoother, saner, even slick and professional one.

Do you really need two screens?

Now, some sharp-minded viewers may remember an earlier post of mine about the best ways to present PowerPoint slides during a Teams meeting included an example where you can present a slide deck in window mode while sharing just the PowerPoint window in the Teams meeting then right-click to get presenter view on your end while everyone in the meeting continues to see the slides. And you might be wondering if there’s a way to have this sort-of two-sided setup with the face, where attendees see your slides, you see presenter view, and you still have the ability to share the camera app. I’ve done some testing and I’m pretty sure that’s a big fat no. But I am certainly open to hearing if anyone else has been able to make this work.

Wrap up

Well, that was an experience! Thanks for stretching my skills a bit. And making me dive back into Windows for the first time in awhile. I seem to have returned injury-free, save for the hair pulling when I wrote the script for this and found it took 94 words to cover the instructions on macOS where Windows required 625. Technically brevity is not my strong suit, and that does include some snark. But still: yay.

One last thing: similar complaints were made about the built-in camera on ChromeOS (Chromebooks). VLC Player is available for ChromeOS but I don’t have a way to test it out. I’m interested to know if the Chrome version of VLC can do the same thing that Windows can. I will attest that theMac version of VLC is subpar compared to Windows, which makes me even more appreciative of QuickTime. If you’re able to test that out on ChromeOS, please leave a comment with your findings. I’m sure a bunch of other people would love to know the results.

Anyway, thanks so much for watching. I really hope this helps you with your presentations in Teams meetings. If you’ve tried this out and developed some tricks to improving it or you figured out other ways to do this—perhaps easier ones—please please please comment below. Everyone can definitely benefit from some process improvement here, so share what you know! And fingers crossedMicrosoft will make this totally moot soon enough by giving us a good slide-video experience. Until then, happy dropping your beautiful face on top of your super awesome slides!

Matt Wade
Matt is an engineer-turned-IT nerd and Microsoft MVP. His career began in the nuclear power design field and ended up in SharePoint adoption, pretty much by mistake. He’s best known for his SharePoint and Office 365 infographics and advocating AI and chatbots to automate business workloads.

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