Join Sally Norred for an in-depth discussion in this video A closer look at Google Hangouts On Air, part of Learning to Run Webinars.
Hi, I'm sally. Here we are in a Google Plus Hangout on Air. When you start your Hangout, the first thing that you're going to see is a large webcam streaming video of you, if you have a webcam enabled on your computer. You can adjust your video settings by hovering on the menu on the right hand side of the browser window, and clicking, and you'll see a bunch of different settings that you can try to make it look as best as possible. I'm going to change it back to enhanced. Now, you may not want to stream your video if you need to focus on presenting content.
To share something on your computer, go over to the left hand side of your screen, and use the screen share app. Click it, and select the window that you want to share, and it will appear there for your viewers. Google Plus Hangout is a powerful, free service that allows an unlimited number of attendees to view your event publicly on YouTube or Google Plus. Although Google Plus Hangouts on Air is not optimized for webinar production, it's easy for any viewer to access, and the price can't be beat.
Hangouts on Air is not a traditional webinar service, and it's not designed specifically for webinars. Hangouts on Air is a service for broadcasting live, public web events. It can be leveraged for use as a webinar service with the correct setup and plugins. Google Plus Hangouts on Air streams your webinar event live to the public via your YouTube channel. Viewers can also watch the live stream of your event in Google Plus, or you can embed the video stream on your website or blog. Google Plus Hangouts on Air is a free service, and it can accommodate up to 10 presenters, and an unlimited number of attendees.
Having an unlimited number of attendees at no cost is a standout feature of Google Plus Hangouts on Air. I'm going to start here with a quick tour of Hangout on Air, and then I'll talk more about the specific features. If your control panel isn't showing, hover towards the top of your browser window and it will appear. You can invite more presenters with this button. You can adjust your audio, video, and bandwidth settings here. And you can leave the call with this button. You can use the Chat app to chat with other presenters.
You can't chat with viewers with this app. This is the Q&A app. You can use this tool to answer questions from the audience. All questions are visible to everyone as soon as they're asked. Use the Capture app to take a picture during the webinar. Use the Camera Man app to show or hide streaming video of up to 10 presenters. In the Hangout Toolbox, there's several tools, but one of the most handy tools is the lower third app, where you can choose a logo and a tagline for your webinar.
You can use the Control Room app for adjusting guests' volume and video in real time. You can also eject presenters, if necessary. You can see how many viewers you have in the bottom right corner of your screen, and you can also grab links to the webinar here in the bottom right corner. Google Plus is constantly making more apps available for download. Click here to check out or download more apps that are available for Hangouts on Air.
I'm going to get into the nitty gritty details here of Google Plus Hangouts on Air's features. Let's talk about the accessibility for Google Plus Hangouts. It's completely mobile device ready, except for a few of the plugin apps. The main presenter needs a gmail account, a Google Plus account, and a YouTube account. All Hangout on Air events are going to broadcast publicly. All events are recorded automatically onto the main presenter's YouTube channel. Viewers can watch the Hangout in their browser, or they can watch a live stream of the event that's embedded on a web page.
The event capacity of Google Plus Hangouts on Air is amazing. There is an unlimited number of possible viewers. There's only one main presenter, and there can be up to ten co-presenters, and presenters can easily be switched during the presentation. The audio, video and recording features are standard, and there's not a lot of room for customization. The audio is purely web streaming audio over computer speakers. There's HD video streaming of up to ten presenters, and that's optional. The webinar recording is automatic.
It automatically happens with every single Hangout on Air, and recording is hosted on the YouTube account of the main presenter. You cannot download the recording. The audience interactivity features are also very basic. There's just a basic Q&A, the questions that come in from the audience display immediately. Any presenter can answer the questions. There's no private Q&A. All Q&A is public. Presenter chat is available, but there's no attendee chat. There's no audience pulling feature.
There's no interactive white boards for the audience. You can use presenter annotation tools through plugin apps. Let's talk about how to manage your Google Plus Hangout on Air event. There's no security or data encryption on Google Plus Hangouts. Any event registration, invitations or follow up emails you're going to have to handle yourself. There's no private preparation room for presenters, and there's no post session attendee reporting. In fact, you won't even see the names of your attendees, just the number of attendees.
You can brand your hangout with the lower third plugin app, and you can use a Google Plus event page to advertise your hangout. The cost of Google Plus Hangouts on Air cannot be beat. It's completely free. You don't have to pay for more participants, organizers or presenters, and there's free hosting for all webinar recordings. There's also no cost for the audio, since it's all done through voiceover IP. Google Plus Hangouts on Air is a game changer in the world of web broadcasting. There are some features of Google Plus Hangouts on Air that are tough to beat.
It's free. It has unlimited viewer access, and it's easy for participants to watch your live or recorded event from any device. If you're interested in having a come one, come all webinar event that's open to the public, if you don't need a lot of audience interaction beyond basic Q&A, and you don't mind doing some of the legwork involved with invitations, registration and followup, Google Plus Hangouts on Air could be a great service for your next webinar.
- What is a webinar?
- Making webinars engaging
- Comparing webinar software, like Adobe Connect and WebEx Event Center
- Selecting topics and presenters
- Creating an agenda
- Scheduling and marketing your webinar
- Using audio and video
- Recording the webinar
- Handling audience Q&A
- Following up with attendees