Google Plus Hangouts are fun.
The more you participate in them, the more confident you’ll be when you produce your own Hangouts On Air (HOA)
Although I’ve “hung out” a fair amount, until I did this “test” video, I hadn’t done a live one before – I can’t wait to do more.
What sells me most on HOA is the fact that it automatically records and appears in your YouTube and G+ channel after it’s done. Recording a regular Hangout is very cumbersome.
This is a follow up post to: You’re Live on Google+ Hangouts On Air.
In that article, I listed some features and ways to use HOA.
How to be your own TV producer:
1) Choose Your Time Carefully:
You have to think like a TV producer. You know your show, and you know your target audience. Don’t schedule a HOA when it’s the last game of the World Series or it’s The Tony Awards Show (depending on your demographic)
2) Your Audience is Global:
Quick, what time is it in Melbourne, Australia? Calgary, Alberta, Canada? Cardiff, Wales? You might not know, but your audience will expect you to.
Say your show is happening at 6pm EST, they’re not going to take the time to sort out time zones so that they know when that means for them. You’re going to have to do it. Here’s a link you might want to bookmark on your browser: Time & Date/World clock Converter
It’s not a good idea to just start promoting your HOA a few hours before you go live.
Would you launch a new show with no advertising for it whatsoever until 7 hours away from its premiere?
Talk about the show and what’s going to happen in it at least 4-5 days in advance. This allows people to fit it into their schedules to watch if they wish to.
For that professional TV newsroom look, DeAno Jackson also suggests an app called Hangout Lower Third that will create a bar on the lower third of your screen that you can customize with your name and logo.
Once downloaded it will appear in your Hangouts apps bar. (The bar shows your 5 recently used apps.)
Jon Ray, has the following tips on preparing for and running a Hangouts On Air.
1. Prep your interview guests.
Get them into the hangout 20-30 minutes before you’re going to “Go Live” so they can work out any technical problems and get comfortable with one another. Participants should be identified with a technology quality check 2-3 days in advance.
2. Use SpeedTest.net.
This is so that you can verify all participants have the required bandwidth, ideally 3-4MB/up/down (even though you can get away with as low as 1.5MB) Official Google Specs
3. Make sure you can be seen.
See that all participants are well-framed with decent lighting.
4. Have a list of questions.
They’ll come in handy in those “quiet” moments.
5. Have some fun
Insert some humour into your interview. How much of course depends on the subject matter. Show some personality.
Even Edward R. Murrow was known to smile from time to time.
6. Re-introduce your guests from time to time.
It’s pretty likely you’ll have at least one person who is just tuning in.
7. Open it up to audience questions.
People are often scared to jump in and ask a question, so you almost have to give them permission.
8. Ask people to +1, share, comment, and spread the word.
People get caught up in the moment and forget to promote for you. The second you ask them to hit the share button there is always a surge in people sharing.
9. Encourage good On Air Hangout etiquette
You can suggest that people cycle in and out of the Hangout (if you’re making it open to more than 10 people).
The best way to feel comfortable hosting a Hangouts On Air is to participate in as many Hangouts as possible.
If you need someone to Hangout with, you know where to find me
About Ray Hiltz
Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.