The easiest way to use Presenter View in PowerPoint when presenting in a Microsoft Teams or Zoom meeting is with two screens. I have articles on how you can do this in Windows or on a Mac. What if you don’t have a nice multi-monitor setup in your home office? What options do you have, other than going and purchasing a second screen? In this article I’ll share some options and hopefully you will find one that works for you.
A second screen doesn’t have to be permanent
Before I get into the options, I want to set the expectations. I am not suggesting you need to have a permanent second screen at your desk. Some spaces just don’t allow for that. Think about a second screen as a temporary item you use just when presenting virtually. If you present all day in your job you likely already have a second screen at your desk.
The second screen will be the one you display slides on and share with the audience through Teams or Zoom. You won’t be using it as your primary screen so if it isn’t a great screen that’s OK. It doesn’t need to be super high resolution either since the meeting platform will decide the best quality for each participant based on their equipment. Since your laptop has the webcam you will be using to share your video, the second screen doesn’t even need to be close by.
An old monitor
Look back in the storage closet or garage for an old monitor from a previous desktop computer. It may be in the old 4×3 aspect ratio and a lower resolution, but it will do for what you need. You may need an adapter to connect if all the monitor has is a VGA connection. You likely have an adapter that will work since there may still be some projectors at work that use VGA. If your laptop has a mini-DisplayPort connection, you can get this adapter that I use.
Any TV in your house should work as a second screen. Connect to it using an HDMI cable the same way you would a projector at work. You may have to use the cable that goes to the game system or Blu-ray player if you don’t have an extra cable or port available on the TV. You may have to set up a folding desk or use a side table or your lap so you are close enough to the TV. The TV can be an older one that isn’t 4K resolution since you won’t be sending high resolution images to Teams or Zoom.
A second laptop
If you don’t have a monitor to plug into your laptop as a second screen but you have a second laptop, you can use a video capture device that costs around $25 to use the second laptop as a second screen for your primary laptop. This works between any combination of Windows or Mac laptops. The laptops don’t need to be recent ones, even older ones will work just fine (I use a 7-year-old Surface 3 in the video to prove it). In the video below I show a Windows laptop as a second screen for a Windows laptop, a Mac laptop as a second screen for a Windows laptop, and a Windows laptop as a second screen for a Mac laptop.
AirPlay to a TV
If you are using a Mac and have an Apple TV device connected to your TV, you can use AirPlay to connect the TV as a second screen. This allows you to be farther away from the TV, even in a different room. I suggest you still be able to see the TV since you want to make sure the audience is seeing the correct slide and you want to know if the connection drops for some reason. I use this method in this video on using Presenter View with 2 screens on a Mac.
Use a phone, iPad or tablet
You might be able to use your phone or tablet as a second display. There are two options that I know of that can extend your display from a Windows or Mac to a phone or tablet. Both have a program you install on your computer and an app you run on your device. If your organization does not allow software to be installed on your work laptop, this may not be an option for you.
Splashtop Wired XDisplay is a free option that works for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. I have used it in Windows and while there is a slight lag when the mouse is moved across the display, that doesn’t matter when you are just using it to display slides. I have not had success using it on a Mac. Duet display is a paid app that also works with the same devices. I paid for it and it has worked flawlessly on both Windows and Mac. I recommend it if you want to use your iPad or iPhone as a second display. You can see Duet Display in use in this video.
Sidecar between a Mac and an iPad
If you have a newer Mac and newer iPad, you might be able to use Sidecar to extend your Mac display to your iPad. You can see the specific system requirements and learn how to use this Mac OS feature in this article from Apple.
AirParrot to connect to Chromecast or Apple TV
AirParrot by Squirrels is an app you can purchase and install for either Windows or Mac that allows you to connect to a TV using either Google Chromecast or Apple TV devices. Once connected, you can extend your monitor so you can use Presenter View in PowerPoint. In my testing, when you advance to the next build or slide, there is a slight lag when using Chromecast and no lag when using Apple TV. If your organization restricts the installation of software on your work laptop this may not work for you. There is a 7-day trial of the software so you can check that it works in your setup. Here is video of how it works.
You can even use AirParrot to connect to a Google Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max smart home display and use it as the second screen for your Windows computer as I explain in this article.
Reflector to create a display from a computer
Squirrels, the maker of AirParrot mentioned above also offer Reflector. This app, available for Windows, Mac, or Android devices turns them into a display that can you can connect to through Air Play, Google Cast, or Miracast. This can turn any computer or Android tablet into a potential second display. This software is not installed on your work laptop so you may be able to install it on a home computer to use as a temporary second display. On Windows you would use the display settings to project to the display and on a Mac you would extend your display via AirPlay. There is a 7-day trial of the software so you can check that it works in your setup.
Miracast for Windows
Similar to Apple TV, Microsoft and a few other vendors sell a device that allows you to wirelessly display your Windows laptop screen on to a TV. Microsoft calls it the Wireless Display Adapter and it uses a technology called Miracast. If you have one of these devices hooked up to your TV, use the Windows display settings to wirelessly connect to the TV and extend your screen. Here is a video of how it works.
Windows Project to a PC
Some newer Windows laptops have the Miracast technology built in. They allow another Windows laptop to use their display as a second display. In the Windows settings you can turn on the ability to project to the PC. I have found that this option depends greatly on the computers you are using. I have not had the best luck with this but it may work well for you.
Create a “Ghost” Monitor
One sneaky way to create a second monitor that Presenter View can use is to connect a Virtual Display Emulator Plug. This small device connects to a regular HDMI port on your computer and makes your computer think you have a second monitor attached. Since this is a hardware solution, it should work with most corporate setups. You can use this virtual display as the screen for your slides in Presenter View and share it in a virtual meeting. I have articles and videos on how to do this for Windows computers (Teams or Zoom) and Macs (Teams or Zoom).
If you want to use Presenter View in a Teams or Zoom meeting and don’t have a second screen attached to your laptop, look at the options available and see which one will work for you.
Dave Paradi has over twenty-two years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written ten books and over 600 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don’t overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams communities. His articles and videos on virtual presenting have been viewed over 3.5 million times and liked over 14,000 times on YouTube.