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But signing up for GoToWebinar or WebEx feels like Vegas on your first date. It’s a bigger commitment than you’re willing to make.
I’ve got fantastic news for you – you can give webinars or live video presentations a test run without Elvis escorting you to the altar.
I know what you’re thinking, “Just what is this magical method? And will I be able to use it even if I can’t rebuild my own motherboard?”
You betcha. It’s about using Google’s free video/chat/screen sharing tool, Google Hangouts.
Not familiar with Google Hangouts yet? Get it on that train, friends. It’s a sweet, sweet ride.
With Google Hangouts, you and nine other people can hold a video conference meeting. Hangouts works on computers, Android and Apple devices. I often use Hangouts to hold meetings with my team or with other biz owners when we’re collaborating.
Not only can you hold a video conference meeting (with you and nine other peeps), you can also broadcast your video to an unlimited number of viewers. Best of all, your viewers don’t have to have any special software to watch.
As the webinar leader or presenter, you will need a Google + profile to use Google Hangouts.
(Don’t have a Google + profile yet? Here’s a good step-by-step guide to creating one.)
Here are Google’s official instructions from it’s Get started with Hangouts page, with a few modifications from me.
To start broadcasting:
Once you click Start broadcast, you’re officially “On Air” and the public will be able to watch your live broadcast.
On the left side of the screen, there’s a button to share your screen if you’ve got a slide show presentation.
Or, you can just talk to the camera!
You could use Google Hangouts on Air for interviews, Q & A sessions, conferences, webinars, demonstrations, live readings, concerts…
Here’s where you can get a little fancy and make your Google Hangout On Air available to anyone you invite.
Instead of sending your audience to the Google Hangouts On Air page or your YouTube channel to watch the broadcast, you can grab the YouTube code and embed it on a private page or blog post on your own website.
Then, send the page link to everyone you’re inviting to watch. Post it on social media. Hire skywriters. Send carrier pigeons.
This week, give Google Hangouts a whirl. Hangout with a friend, a colleague or your grandma. Once you’ve run through the basics, pick a date and start promoting your official premier broadcast event. Your fans are waiting.