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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week we're talking about Google Hangouts. Now, I already showed you how to do a remote meeting with you and up to nine of your co-workers. This video we're going to take a step further, we're going to have a Google hangout on air which streams live so that anybody can stop by virtually and watch the discussion. When it's all done, it's going to hang around on your YouTube channel to be watched whatever by any whomever. To do a hangout, we talked about how you needed in internet connection, a browser, and a microphone and a webcam.
To do a hangout on air, you need one more thing: you need a YouTube account that's linked to your Google account. This is quick and easy, and in fact the first time you go to do a hangout on air, you're going to get prompted to do it. Now, I like to first create an event in Google. I can invite my customers and clients to the event and when I'm ready to do a hangout on air, I can simply paste the URL right into that event. It makes me look more professional, and the best part is any customers and clients who said their attending my virtual event will get a reminder and a link right before it's about to start.
I'm going to show you how to do that right now. I'm on my Google site, and I'm going to click the Plus beside my name to get into Google+. Before I even start my hangout, I'm first going to create an event by clicking Events on the left-hand side and choosing CREATE EVENT, which is the big red button at the top. Now, I'm going to change the theme because it's a hangout on air, and I just don't like what they have there.
I'm going to choose Other, I can browse these. Pick one that matches the type of event you're doing. In this case, because I'm doing hangout on air, down at the bottom there's a little video camera. I can choose Set As Theme, and now that's the picture. Make your event title what the actual hangout is. I can set the date and the time for when I'm going to have my hangout on air. And for Event options, I need to click advanced.
Now, you may be tempted to select Google+ Hangout, because after all, that's what it is, but if you select Google+ Hangout, what's going to happen is that for every person that says that they're going to attend this event, it's actually going to invite them into the hangout, not just to watch it. So we're going to select Make this an event on air so that anybody can view the event. We don't want our customers becoming part of the panel, we just want them to watch the panel. I also need to choose Show additional fields.
It's going to give us a bunch more fields, including a YouTube URL, and that's what we're going to use later. For the location field, I'm simply going to type online because it's an online event, and I can put any details I want. All right, when we're all ready, we can invite the people that we want to watch. For now I'm going to invite my producer, Shea, and when we're ready, click the green Invite button.
Our event has been created. Now we can just sit back and wait for it to happen. Once we're ready and it's time to have the actual hangout on air, I'm going to click Start a hangout, invite the people for my panel, I can name it. This time I'm going to select Enable Hangouts On Air.
It's going to be broadcast in both my Google+ screen and my YouTube channel, and because I've already linked it I can just click Okay, got it! This is where if this was the first time you're doing it you would have to enter in a code. I'm going to click the blue Hangout button, and we're in Google Hangout, but we're not on the air yet. I can see on the top left of the screen it still says off air, and that's good. Hi, Shea! Shea: Hi! Jess: All right, we have our panelists, but we're not quite ready to broadcast live just yet.
There's one more thing I want to do. I want to use an app called the Hangout Toolbox. I'm going to click on the Hangout Toolbox, and it's going to let me bring up something called a lower third. A lower third is that neat banner that you see at the bottom of the screen that helps people know who everybody is in the panel. I clicked the headphone icon, and here's where I can put in a lower third. Shea, why don't you put in lower third too? All right, it's just to identify yourself.
You can put in your Twitter address. You have two lines to use. When you're ready to use it, click the ON button. Now, you'll notice it's backwards. Shea's is correct, mine's backwards. This is how it looks to the audience, they'll see it the right way. If I want to see at the right way, I can select Mirror my own video, and this is what everybody sees when they're watching me on screen. We're almost done. I'm going to click Hangout Toolbox to make that disappear. Before I start my broadcast, I want to embed this.
Now that we're actually starting our panel, we have a YouTube URL. Nobody knows about it yet, but that's going to change right now. I'm going to click this Embed button, and here's where I have a URL. I can click on that YouTube URL, right-click, select Copy, and now while this is still going, I'm going to come back to my event, and I'm going to edit it by clicking this little pencil, come back to my Event options, click Advanced, click Show additional fields, and in this YouTube URL, I'm going to right-click and choose Paste.
I can save it, and now right in my event we are going to be streaming live once I start broadcasting my hangout. The best part about it is is that people who've said they were going will get a reminder, so they can just come right into this event, click the play button, and start watching. Now we're ready to go. We've got our lower third, we've got our YouTube URL embedded right in the discussion, and now I can click START BROADCAST.
Once I click that, I can choose OK, and it's going to remind me that I'm broadcasting live on Google+ and YouTube. We have a couple of seconds to make sure we're really ready and then our hangout starts. Three, two, one, and now Google's telling us that we're broadcasting live. So here's where our panel would talk. I could introduce myself, talk about what we're doing, ask some questions, and the neat thing is is that when people start talking, they will become live on the screen.
What I can do is click people if I want them to immediately have focus, or I can click the focus back to myself. However, if they start talking, it will automatically go to them. There's some other things I can do too. I can you mute my own microphone, and I can hide myself from the broadcast by clicking this. If I want to put myself back, I just check that button again. Now, when I'm done with the broadcast, it still doesn't mean I'm done with the hangout. When we're finally ready to be finished off air, I can select END BROADCAST.
Now we're officially off the air. We can still go, we can talk about how it went, we can relax a little bit and talk to each other 'cause our hangout's not done, but we're not on air anymore. When we're all ready to finish, we can do just what we did the last time, click the Exit button, bye Shea. And we are officially out. What it's going to tell me now is that a recording of the broadcast we just did is going to be kept on my YouTube channel. I can hit Close, and we've successfully had our first hangout on air.
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