My Approach to Sharing a Screen

I’ll be blunt, starting with a sample inner monologue:

Oh, you’re about to share your screen during this Zoom meeting? OK. Let’s do this. Oh, can I see your screen? Yes. Thanks for asking: the technology worked. Oh, you want me to focus over in that part of the shared screen? Sorry, that shit’s too small. Can you make it bigger? Is that all you can do? Well that’s annoying… Just keep going. I’ll lean in and squint.

Let’s do better.

When facilitating a Zoom meeting, and I’m going to share a screen, I have a Driving Principle: Actively remove from the screen what is not part of the conversation. I’ll even do this after I’ve started sharing, as education via a “before ‘n’ after” micro-session, showing off my tactics in a live demo, making the world a better place…

In General

Share the application window, not your whole screen, if you can. Seeing your taskbar and desktop items does not help me.


Go full-screen: press ‘F5’.

You know the material, you maybe even created it, but I don’t, so the list of slides on the left, and the toolbar at the top, are both useless to me. Need to edit it from time to time upon getting feedback? Mazel Tov, you’re Agile: go out of full-screen mode, do your thang, then go back.

Word / Excel

Minimize the toolbar at the top: there’s a little upward carat at the bottom-right of the toolbar.

Zoom in so the content fills the width of your screen. Want to have context visibly available? Fine: zoom out just enough to include it.

Web Browser

Some of us have a bookmarks toolbar at the top. Hide that to get another row of text.

If you don’t need to flip between browser tabs for what you want to share, then go “fullscreen mode”, hiding the tabs to free up a row of content, and hiding the URL row to free up another row of content.

Zoom in. Y’know: “Command-plus” (Ctrl + ‘+’) so the text looks bigger. I go to 120%. You get fewer lines of… more readable content.

Swiss Bank Account Portal

Deselect the “Hide Passcode” setting.

Also, ’cause, y’know, we’re friends ‘n’ all… What’s the name of your first pet? And where did you meet your spouse? I think it’s time we got to know each other better. And while you’re at it, what’s your mother’s maiden name? I’d like to write her a card…


Hide any open panes you’re not actively using in the moment, like handy toolbars on the left, or the Outline pane on the right, or the list of voting sessions at the top.

Is there ONE sticky you’d like us to read, where we don’t need to compare it to the surrounding ones? Zoom ALL THE WAY IN. You may have a 32-inch monitor. Don’t assume I do. I’ve got a Lenovo Thinkpad, a 11-inch MacBook Air, and an iPhone 8.


Press the letter ‘Z’ on your keyboard. Do it. It’s magic. It’s a 3-way toggle between ‘normal’, and hiding navigation areas, and then enabling a higher-contrast view.

In Planning View? Hide the epic & version panes on the left if we’re not actively using ’em. Hide the detail pane on the right if we’re not actively using it.

More Info

Now that you’ve got this part of the facilitation experienced improved, you can look into other remote facilitation tactics.