How to: Virtual Meetings using Google Hangouts

Hangouts is a new service from Google which makes chatting and sharing very easy. You can also use it to conduct a meeting with colleagues — all you need is a webcam and a free Google+ account.   

In this post, I will explain how to use Google Hangouts to conduct virtual meetings. Here are instructions:

1) Start a Hangout: Start a Hangout by logging into your Google+ and clicking “Create a Hangout” on the upper right side of the page. You may have to install the Google Video and Voice plugin.

2) Choose the people you wish to invite to your Hangout. Enter their names in the text box or click on their photos. You can also invite an entire circle by clicking on the text box and then selecting the circle from the drop-down menu or enter the circle’s name. You can invite up to nine users.

3) Enter a name for your Hangout. You can also enable Hangouts On Air and broadcast your Hangout live over the Internet by selecting the check box beneath the name of your Hangout.

4) Next, click “Hangout Options” and choose the check box if you want to restrict the Hangout to people over 18. Choose a preferred language from the drop-down menu to use other languages and click “Save.”

5) Click the blue “Hang Out” button to start the Hangout.

How to interact in the Hangout:

– You can enlarge the video feed by clicking on a participant’s face in the People tab of the Hangout. Clicking on the microphone icon that appears when you hover over the video will mute him. You can also click the “Ignore” button to ignore.

– Using the buttons in the menu bar at the top you can invite more people, start a screenshare, watch YouTube videos or insert documents from Google Docs.

– You can also click the camera or microphone icons in the upper right corner of the screen to temporarily mute your audio or video feed. To adjust your camera and microphone settings, click on “Settings”.

– To leave the Hangout, click “Exit”.

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