How to use Google Hangouts (featured image)

How to Use Google Hangouts for the First Time

How to use Google Hangouts for the first timeI did it — I’ve been talking about it for a long time, just never took the plunge … until today when I decided to learn how to use Google Hangouts for the first time!

I contacted two colleagues in Melbourne and we agreed on a time – one had tried a Hangout with her grandmother, but other than that, none of us had a clue.

It was a good chuckle after I added them to my first Hangout, and then we spent a few minutes trying to work out what the cameras were doing (jumping from who’s speaking now, to who’s speaking next!).

After we sorted ourselves out and got into a rhythm, we talked for about 45 minutes and agreed it was a good thing to do on a regular basis, so we’re aiming for every second Friday afternoon, and see how it goes.  There’s an hour’s time difference, so it was 4pm for my friends and 3pm for me — it can be an “early mark” to finish work early on Fridays.

So — how did we get started?

  • we all went to http://google.com/hangouts
  • there are 3 buttons for downloading – we each chose to download to our computers:
    How to use Google Hangouts -download the Hangouts software to your computer
  • as soon as the software downloaded on my computer, a little pop-up window appeared in the bottom right corner of my screen (I was using the Chrome browser)
  • there was an option to ‘start a new Hangout’ so I clicked that
  • all that was needed was for me to type in the two gmail names of the other attendees, and the software automatically started calling them
  • and then voila! we could see each other on the screen!
  • as there were 3 of us, there were three thumbnails in the bottom right corner, one for each of us
  • depending on who was speaking, the large screen displayed either one or the other of my friends
  • it’s also possible to lock the screen on one speaker at a time, so the camera doesn’t jump from face to face — simply click one thumbnail and a blue border appears around it, locking in that person on the screen.

Summary of How to use Google Hangouts

Overall it was very quick and easy, no complications whatsoever.

I do recommend calling the other attendees well in advance, especially if you are sharing the Hangout as a webinar.

For this first time, we had a private Hangout and did not record it — in fact we didn’t know how to do anything else so it worked out perfectly!

Next time we might try to turn it into a webinar we can share with our followers.

I’ll keep you posted!

If you’d like to be interviewed or chat with me and also learn how to use Google Hangouts, let me know – I’d love to chat with you!

 

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Teena Hughes

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