The Session team

NEW: Display Chat Messages, Raise Hand, Music on Empty Stage, Host Controls, Drawing Cursor, and More

AUTHOR: The Session team

Get ready, friends.

This. release. is. massive.

Starting today, here's what's new in Session, live in your Session account.

  1. Raise hand

  2. Highlight chat messages on stage (i.e., Chyron)*

  3. Music and branded animations on empty stage*

  4. Host controls, Part 1

  5. Drawing Cursor

  6. Bug fixes worth mentioning

*Presentation and AMA theme only

Two important updates before we dive in:

  1. Session stealth launches March 23rd kicking off Early Access.

  2. Apply any clients for Session Early Access using the channel #jm-session-early-access and fill out the workflow.

WATCH: Live Video Demo Walkthrough of These New Session Features

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1. Raise hand: Notify the group that you have a thought to share

Screen Shot 2022-03-14 at 3.03.31 PM.png

The raise hand feature is great for seamlessly sequencing conversations. It brings a subtle level of structure that balances communication and fairness. In other words, it's helpful for showing people you have something to say, without needing to interrupt them.

To raise your hand:

  1. Open the emoji bar.

  2. Select "Raise hand."

  3. Lower hand by selecting "Lower hand."

Available in all Session themes.

2. Highlight chat messages by displaying them on Stage as an interactive overlay like a Chyron

Screen Shot 2022-03-14 at 3.05.58 PM.png

Highlighting chat messages from participants is a great way to increase engagement in your Session. It makes participants feel more connected and recognized by fellow participants. It encourages interaction and contribution through spotlighting comments.

To highlight a chat message on stage:

  1. Scroll over a chat message.

  2. Select the plus icon (+).

  3. The message displays on stage in the bottom left corner for 10 seconds before fading automatically.

  4. Dismiss the highlighted chat message any time by clicking the close button (X).

Coming soon: interactions with the chyron! Participants will be able to click and react to the highlighted chat message in real-time.

3. Play music and branded animations while waiting for speakers to take the Stage

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The sound of silence is no more!

Now you can add background music and branded animations to your Session, to fill the empty space between speakers coming and going on stage.

To customize the stage music and visuals, go to the Stage area in your "Customize room" menu.

It's the bottom button in your lefthand sidebar:

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Here you can designate if you want anyone to be able to come on stage (great for casual or highly collaborative team meetings and socials) or just you so that only the people you pull on stage are allowed on (better for formal presentations and workshops).

The empty stage can be customized in all sorts of ways. The best way to learn this feature is to just play around with it! Log into your Session account at and create a New Room with a stage -- either the Presentation theme or AMA theme.

4. New room owner controls for the Stage to ensure a smooth and seamless event

Part 1 of host controls is here!

Now you can invite people on stage, remove them from stage, mute individuals, and mute everyone in just one click.

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Part 2 coming soon: Cohosts! You'll be able to make other folks a room host simply by sharing a "host link" with them.

5. Drawing Cursor lets users annotate and highlight content on screen

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Available in all themes, the cursor selector allows participants to draw on screenshared content. This helps direct the conversation and focus the group on specific parts of the content. It's also a fun and collaborative way to whiteboard!

The cursor selector appears when someone shares their screen.

Hint: More fun cursor customizations are around the corner.

Bug fixes worth mentioning

We don't normally mention the myriad of bug fixes that are going on under the surface in these releases but two popular fixes are worth calling out as many of you have reported them.

  1. You can now customize a room WITHOUT going on stage. Previously, you had to be on stage to see the controls but now you can set up a room while being in the "background." Huzzah!

  2. Breakout rooms are now enabled for AMA theme. So if you'd like participants to see/meet each other to network during say your webinar, you can break them out into small groups.

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