Google+ has many great features besides adding your friends to circles. The network’s video chat tool, Google+ Hangouts, has awesome audio and video quality. If you’re curious about the tool but not sure how to get started, the points below will help you be successful when you’re video chatting with others on Google+.
Have a moderator. I would suggest that someone moderates your Google+ Hangout. When someone is speaking, their video box will be enlarged and be brought to the top of the Hangout window. When we are speaking to other people and our conversations take off, we tend to jump in and not wait for someone to finish speaking. This can cause chaos in your Hangout. Having a moderator to ask questions from certain attendees will help keep everything flowing smoothly.
Know your players. While you can invite as many people as you want to join a Hangout, you can’t have more than 10 people in a Hangout at once. My suggestion is to plan ahead and think carefully about who will be in your Hangout. A great idea is using Google+ Hangouts the same way you do Video Blogs, get a few influencers on a certain topic to come and have a discussion — and invite your followers to watch.
Have a pre-Hangout. Ask all of your attendees to join you before the Hangout to test their computers and their browsers so you will be ready to go live for the planned Hangout. That way you won’t be caught waiting on someone to get connected. I participated in a pre-conference Hangout in which Deb Evans moderated a chat for all of the speakers for FranCamp 2011. Everyone who was speaking at the conference jumped on a Hangout to discuss our presentations, brainstorm the agenda and introduce ourselves since we hadn’t all met in person before.
Don’t be afraid to show a little personality. Video is fun, especially when you have other people streaming live with you. Don’t be afraid to have fun on your hangout, show your personality and definitely show your passion for the subject you are discussing.
Record it. You can record your Hangouts for those who could not watch live. I would suggest this if you do a Hangout with a group of influencers. There are many applications out there that are supposed to let you record Google+ Hangouts. I’ve tried a few programs that have not worked in the past. But thanks to my friend Deb Evans, a Hangout pro, I know that Google Air is a successful way to record your Hangout. Here is a recorded Hangout from Social Geek Radio for their 100th show in May.
Get in front of your clients or co-workers. If you have a call planned with a client, why not suggest doing a Google+ Hangout instead? All they will need is a video camera, their computer and a Google+ account, which is easy to set up through your Gmail account. My friend Justin Brackett has Hangouts everyday with his employees. The Shift Digital team is made up of professionals from all over the U.S. who work remotely so Justin uses Hangouts to have discussions about clients with his co-workers, brainstorm and as he says “it also is great for all of us who work from home to have someone we can chat with and to see … It gets lonely.” Since it gets lonely, don’t forget to add me to your circles!