A Practical Guide to Google+ Hangouts On Air: Part 1

24-Oct-2013

Getting started with Google+ Hangouts On Air

Following on from my post on Google+ hangouts last week, I thought it would be useful to put together a practical guide on how to set up and run your own ‘on air’ sessions. Where you may currently be using conference calls or Skype, by the time you’ve finished reading this post hopefully you’ll feel confident enough to get online and start using Google+ Hangouts.

So you’ve decided to take the plunge, but before you get started there are a few things to check in order to make sure that things run smoothly on the day.

First of all, it’s really important to remember to verify your YouTube account so that it can handle videos longer than 15 minutes. Otherwise your Hangout won’t get saved as a recording after your session. Here are some simple instructions on how to do this on Google.

Once that’s taken care of, you should turn your attention to your equipment.

Get your gear right!

A few important points to think about before you begin your first broadcast:

– Run your hangout on the fastest computer you have at your disposal. This will help ensure that the video is as smooth as possible and create an enjoyable viewing experience for your audience.

– It’s better to be safe than sorry, so a wired connection (instead of wireless) is your best bet for a stable internet connection.

– Headsets rule! Ideally, everyone participating should wear one to reduce echo. This will enable them to take part in the discussion properly too.

You can communicate all of these requirements to participants beforehand using your event page, which leads me nicely to …

Spreading the word

Once you’ve confirmed when your hangout is happening you’ll want to share news about it with the world (assuming it’s open to the public!). To do this, go to Home > Events and click on ‘Create Event’.

G+ events page

Once created, this page acts as your central point of communication in the run up to your event – much like an event page on Facebook. Make sure you add a simple description of the Hangout and watch as registrations flood in as you start to share it with your circles and communities on Google+.

As the numbers increase, you may even want to create a new circle specifically for the attendees of your hangout. This will save you time when it comes to inviting people into the discussion room, as you can send everyone the same link in a single group message.

Once all your invitations are sent and you’re all ready to go, then it’s just time for the main event!

In Part 2 of this post, we’ll be looking at how to run the Google+ Hangout On Air session itself, offering a few key tips to help ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day. Tune in next week for more and make sure to visit our Google+ page to keep updated with all our latest Hangouts.

Henry

Henry

Read more in the series:

‘Hanging Out’ with Macmillan

 A Practical Guide to Google+ Hangouts On Air: Part 2

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