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How to Communicate with Hangouts - Google for Work

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How to Communicate with Hangouts - Google for Work


This episode is all about Hangouts. Many of our viewers asked for tips on how to use Hangouts at work and looked for uses cases where it makes sense to use Hangouts. So in this episode, The Apps Show team decided to take a concrete example, and show you the behind the scenes of our typical brainstorming work over a script. Jimmy and James showcase how Hangouts help them collaborate better, even when they are not located at the same office. They also remind us that a series of new Hangouts features have made collaboration smoother and more efficient.

First of all, Jimmy shows the advantages of using Hangouts video call over Hangouts chat. A video conference is a best fit for discussions that need more than a few transactional interactions. In the case of a script brainstorming, a video conference turned out to be the best option for Jimmy and James, who are located in different Google offices. In this episode, instead of using his laptop for his Hangout, Jimmy prefered to use the silent and more professional space of a conference room equipped with a Chromebox for meetings. To start the meeting with the Chromebox, he just needed to share with James a Hangout ID (eg:jimmy-james) to get connected.

But if Jimmy had wanted to connect with James from his laptop, there would have been other options available: check out in this article the different ways you can invite people to a meeting at work: hhtp:// For instance, was recently launched, and it features a great dashboard where you can video call, phone call or message any of your Google Contacts.

During a Hangout, you may want to present a document or share your screen with your meeting participants. To do that, you just need to type in your browser, enter the Hangout ID and select the screen you want to share. This is a great way to visualize a working document that you and your participants need to discuss! Also, if you need to invite to your meetings a large number of participants, a recent launch will probably delight you: Hangouts now allow up to 25 people to join a call, making Hangouts a great fit for large video conferences.

Finally, if you are looking for best practices on how to use Hangouts, check out this great video tutorial done by our partner BetterCloud Monitor: You will learn how to adjust sound, avoid echo or play with internet bandwidth.

Interested in taking full advantage of The Apps Show video tutorials?
- Check out our searchable library:
- Ask access to our Google Drive: You’ll have access to all scripts and videos in mp4 format, so you can create your own training resources!


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Re: How to Communicate with Hangouts - Google for Work

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# 2
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Excellent post, @James_Clemens, I needed a refresher on some of this. Any idea what's the URL for the "HoA Best Practices" video they discuss around minute 2:50?

Julia Muller,
AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: How to Communicate with Hangouts - Google for Work

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Re: How to Communicate with Hangouts - Google for Work

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# 4
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Great, thanks @Andrew Slattery, I was hoping for the video presentation, but this is great to have as well.

Julia Muller,
AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: How to Communicate with Hangouts - Google for Work

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Thanks, @Julia_Muller, so happy to help.


@Andrew Slattery provides a great pdf that covers the info you are seeking. And I have posted it here to make it easy on anyone that finds this post in the future. If I can help with anything else, please just let me know. 




Hangouts On Air - Programming Best Practices

1. Define the conversation

At their core, Hangouts are about engaging conversations among real people. As with any conversation, you need to
figure out who the participants are, and what the topics for discussion will be. You can create any type of conversation
you’d like, but here are some things to consider as you prepare for a great conversation.



  1. Guest: Who will be focal point of your hangout? If you’re doing a Q&A, it helps to have a person who people
    are dialing in to engage with. Is it the news editor, a politician, a celebrity, or the inventor of the latest and greatest
  2. Moderator: If your guest doesn’t have much experience as a conversation facilitator, we recommend bringing
    in a moderator who can carry the conversation forward. The moderator’s job is to call on other participants to get
    their opinions, help the host transition from one topic to another and ensure there are no awkward pauses in the
  3. Other participants: Who are the other participants in the Hangout? Are these fans of the host, excited Google+
    users, etc.? Note that this product does not allow you to invite the public to join your Hangout, e.g. have random
    strangers pop into your Hangout. You will need to add your participants to a circle and invite them at the time of
    the Hangout.


The max number of people who can join the Hangout is 10. As your number of participants inches towards 10,
you will need to moderate the discussion more to ensure everyone has a chance to speak and people aren’t talking
over one another.



As you prepare for your Hangout, it’s good to create a document that outlines the “run of show”. What are the topics
you will be covering, and roughly how much time will be spent on each? Do you want a Q&A session at the end? You
should communicate this to everyone in the Hangout, including the participants.


At the same time, don’t overscript your Hangout, or it will come across as inauthentic. Find the sweet spot of providing
some topical nodes to focus on, while also allowing for spontaneous conversation.


Lastly, think about magical moments

How can you create magic moments in your Hangout that will surprise and delight viewers, and make them eager to
participate in future conversations? Is it that you’re bringing together people from radically different backgrounds who
would otherwise never have a conversation together? Is it that you are allowing normal citizens to ask a celebrity what
her favorite breakfast cereal is? Is there a surprise guest who could pop in at any moment? What are the moments that
people will take away from your Hangout, and how can you optimize for these moments?

2. Pre-Production

Schedule your Hangout

Choose a time and date that works for your audience. If you are hosting a nationwide or global Hangout and
broadcasting to the public, keep in mind time zones.


How long should your Hangout be? We recommend anywhere between 15-45 minutes, depending on the number
of people you have in the Hangout.


Scout locations

  • Make sure the bandwidth at the host and participant locations meet the technical requirements.
    Always use a wired connection and have a wireless connection as backup.
  • Make sure everyone’s location is in a quiet room or studio without background noise.
  • Lighting is important. Please refer to the Tech Walk-through for tips.

3. Announce your Hangout
It’s time to tell the world about your Hangout. Here are a few tips.


Create a teaser video

People respond to posts when they are accompanied with engaging content, like a video. To get more response,
create a 15-30 second teaser video featuring the host that encourages people to join and watch the Hangout.

Here are examples from Tyra Banks and David Beckham.


You may wish to create and upload to YouTube a custom thumbnail for your video advertising the Hangout details.
This will be displayed in your Google+ stream when you post the video.


Call for participants

A common question we hear is, “how do I choose people to join my Hangout”? We encourage you to engage with your
followers and generate excitement by calling for participants in your announcement.


In the initial post with the Hangout details, announce that you are looking for people to join your Hangout. Ask folks
to respond to your post with a reason why they should be chosen, or to ask a thought-provoking question to the host.


Make it clear in your post that you are choosing a select number of folks to join, and that the public can only watch,
but not join the Hangout, when it’s happening.


Use a hashtag
Include a hashtag for your Hangout, like #helpdeskhangout.

4. Selecting and testing with participants

If you decide to pre-select your participants, here are some tips:

Initial screening: Select the best responses to your initial post and click through to the profiles of these individuals to
do a quick screening.


Create a shortlist of participants from the initial screening and schedule a quick Hangout with each one to ensure their
bandwidth, audio, and lighting meet the tech requirements and to assess whether they come across well on camera.


Create 2 circles of participants: A top picks circle and a backup circle in case someone gets sick or can’t join the
Hangout last minute.


Do a Hangout dry run with all participants

Explain the run of show: helps to set their expectations and keep the conversation on the right course.


Check their tech: enough bandwidth? lighting? audio?

Remind them of Hangout etiquette: Participants should mute their mics unless the host talks to them, they should be
at their computers to join the hangout at a specified time, and leave on a specific cue.


Explain the Hangout policies: Be sure to tell your participants that they cannot stream content that they don’t own
or have a license to during the Hangout. Also, remind participants what kind of conduct, language, etc., is appropriate
during the Hangout.

5. Hangout Day

  • Post a reminder in the morning encouraging people to watch the Hangout.
  • Invite participants and get them into the Hangout at least 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time.
  • Once you have invited the participants, remember to check the preview post in your stream to ensure the video
    looks good before you go live.
  • If you want to embed the video or share the link, you must do this before you click “Start broadcast”.
  • When you’re ready to go on air, click “Start broadcast” to broadcast to the world.
  • Be sure to monitor your Hangout and ask any participants who are streaming unauthorized third-party content
    to stop. This includes, but is not limited to, unlicensed music, pictures, and video. It is the Hangout operator’s
    responsibility to block users misusing third-party content.
  • A warning will be given if we detect that copyrighted content is being broadcast live. Failure to stop broadcasting
    copyrighted material will result in the live broadcast being shut down and you will lose access to Hangouts On Air.


6. Marketing after the Hangout

Immediately after the Hangout:
Post the full-length recording of your Hangout and thank participants and viewers.
Tell them to stay tuned for future Hangouts.


A few days post Hangout:
Post a 1-2 minute highlight reel of the best moments from the Hangout.
This is great marketing to get people who didn’t attend the last Hangout to attend your next one.


The complete pdf on this topic can be downloaded here. 

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