You’ve been invited to be on a Hangout On Air – what now?

This is for those of you who have never tried to be on a Hangout On Air through Google+ and YouTube. It may be a recorded event (less stressful) or a live broadcast to the whole world – if they happen to have received the link and are interested in what you have to talk about AND have the time to listen live.

No matter which version, if you’ve been invited to be a guest or on a panel with several guests there is a checklist to make sure your experience is positive for everyone before, during and after.


You have cleared your calendar for the time of the recording or broadcast PLUS at least 30 minutes before and possibly 15 minutes after for follow up. The reason you need 30 minutes before is because you not only need to test your camera, mic and speakers, but you want some time to get the chemistry going with the host so you all appeared relaxed and understand the format of the show.


Add someone to your circles from a post by mousing over their linked name.


You can circle people by going to their profile and mousing over their “add to circles” link under their headshot in the left.


You can add someone to circles from their post you are reading. Mousoever their photo and you’ll be prompted to add to circles or to see what circles they are in.

AH, the format of the show. As a guest, you should know your host’s interviewing style. I HIGHLY recommend asking them for a link to their YouTube channel or links to recent shows with the same format as the one you will be on so you can understand the flow of the show.

OK, your privacy settings may be locked down too much. You need to CIRCLE (that’s like follow in Facebook and Twitter) the HOST so they can invite you. If your event is being recorded privately, it’s a little trickier. Make sure you are CONNECTED to the host in CIRCLES.


In Google+ – there is a menu in the left. This new option at the bottom: SETTINGS is new. They moved it recently. Click on that.


Choose what notifications you receive in this area. If you lock it down too tightly, you may miss invitations to the show you are on.

BUT you need to also review your SETTINGS to see what you are permitting as far as notifications of events and hangouts go. Then you need to allow at least some of them. Feel free to only permit invitations from those in your circles so strangers aren’t bugging you to do a video call.

You may select to add events to your calendar only if you RSVP yes or maybe. You may set invitations and notifications to only those in your circles or to specific people. You may choose to receive notifications on your smartphone. If you do that, remember to go to your smart phone app settings for HANGOUTS and set the notifications there, as well so you don’t miss out. BUT… remember at event time to TURN THE RINGER off and CLOSE the Hangout app unless that is the device you are using for the show (I don’t recommend using your phone, especially for your first event.)


Promotion by everyone before:

Do you have a headshot you prefer? Events and event promotions usually involve graphics. Unless you want people just searching for you, clicking on the “images” tab and choosing one, you may want to send a nice JPG or PNG file to the host. Make it easy for them. Something at least 600 x 600. While you’re at it, how about a 25 word intro and links to the ways to connect to you on social media? Most hosts will have a sort of questionnaire for guests, but these are the basic items they need to get people excited about watching and listening to the show.


Events are promoted by the host usually on Google+ with an event landing page, but also through social media. Be sure to support the promotion by resharing and favoriting, liking, etc.

Once your host has the link, they will send it to you. BE KIND – share the link and your excitement with your social media network followers: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+. Respond and reshare the hosts’s posts and tweets about the event. This lets the host know YOU are excited, too and doing your part.


REMEMBER TO RSVP to your own event. Looks bad on the event if the main guest hasn’t replied. You look like an amateur and possibly a no-show.


In the upper right of the event, + it to show you support it and then SHARE it with your circles, specific people, the public or all of the above.

Once you have the link to the event, go to it and RSVP YES! that you will attend. That way you will receive updates about the event and it will get added to your calendar, if you use GoogleCalendar or other systems. You want to make sure you are aware of any changes, updates and posts to the event.

Then, SHARE the event from Google+ .


If this is your first hangout, ask the host do to a test run with you. It should take less than 15 minutes if you have the following in place:


Your host may invite you this way. This is how you invite others into the actual hangout window greenroom before the broadcast starts.

  • An account that you login to YouTube or Google+ with so you may be invited.
  • A webcam of some sort
  • Microphone – either part of your system or external microphone
  • Internet connection – hardwired is best, but strong wireless will work too.
  • Headphones – cuts down on feedback you hear through your speakers. Phone earbuds are fine, the recording will be high quality, you just need to hear what’s going on without letting the audience and recording hear what is coming out of your speakers.
  • A setting that is free from clutter to keep the focus on the show.

Almost Air Time:

About an hour before, I highly suggest you not only reboot your computer to  have a clean system, but turn off extra programs and close additional browser windows other than the one to receive the notification for the event.

Your host will notify you that the “greenroom” is open. That is the time before the actual broadcast or recording starts. This is that 30 minutes ahead of time to test your set up and connection, put your mind at ease.

The notification from the host may come as a link and invite may come in through Google+ notifications, via email or whatever method you told the host works best to reach you. I HIGHLY recommend you login to Google+ and check your notifications. You may also check the event page on Google+ for a link only for you to see and click on. Prearrange this with the host of how they can find you best to send you the link to join the hangout/video call.


This is what it looks like after you click to join the call and your host is in the hangout.


This is an example of what a notification may look like where the call is stating and you need to click on ACCEPT.

The invitation will have a link that will open a new window with a black screen and jiggling green quotation bubble. If this is your first time, you may have to install a plugin. If your system bogs down, close the browser window completely and reopen. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Hangouts are happiest in Chrome and Firefox.

Now you see the “accept” and “join” checkbox. Check it and WELCOME!


Make sure you have the correct equipment selected.

OH NO! No one can hear you or see you. Time to go to the top under the menu in the window with the COG tool. Choose the microphone and webcam you want to use and everything should be fine! Can you hear everyone? Which speakers do you have selected?

This is time to make sure you really are in a quiet setting. Turn off ringers to your phones. If you have a pet, lock them up. If you have children, toss out the M&Ms to keep them quiet. If there is a TV in the background, turn it off. Dishwashers and other background noises come through the recording.



The call is over. Time to hangup. If you are not the host of the event, let your host STOP BROADCAST first. You won’t see that button. You’ll see you are OFF AIR and then you can say goodbye, thank you and end the call.

The host has now announced you are going live. Be a lamb and MUTE yourself to keep the camera from jumping to you. Let the host introduce you and turn off the mute button at the top. If you need to cough or have another loud interruption, be ready to mute yourself. Your host may do it. if they do, you will have to unmute yourself to be heard.

Remember, the host can “pin” you – select you to be the main screen at any second and they can forget to UNPIN you. Realize and act like you are on camera the whole time. Do not scratch, pick, bite your nails, sigh excessively or look at the muted cellphone in your lap while you text others. We can all see you! It’s rude. Be a nice guest. Pretend like you are on the Late Night Show and the audience is watching you shift in your chair and can see everything behind you.

Have a great show – enjoy yourself and remember to embrace the PAUSE and let the others speak. No monologuing or pitching your wares. Stay on topic based on the preshow prep and show description.

After The Show:


Share it again with mention of highlights.


Some shows have great quotes worth sharing to entice others to go back and listen to the replay.

Time to thank your host publicly and through further promotion. Reshare their posts about the show. Post it to your networks with a link to watch the replay. If there were comments in the event stream, address the ones that pertain to or mention you. Thank those who showed up in that venue.

Was there a great moment or good quote or nugget of knowledge in the show? Why not turn it into a graphic for your site or social media with a link to the replay on YouTube or your own blog post where you can embed the replay video?

Add the video to your own YouTube playlists and “like” it. If there were YouTube comments – respond. Make a nice comment and +mention the host and their company or channel. Subscribe to the host’s channel, too. 


If it was a public event, add the final video to your playlist to show support of your host and to make it easy for you to find your appearance later.


Add a comment, answer questions by others commenting, thank your host publicly or those who joined you for the event and took the time to watch.


LIKE the video, it helps your host’s channel rankings. Consider getting the embed code and creating a blog post recapping the event.


If this was a podcast, be sure to get THAT embed code as well and include it in a post on your own site, mentioning your host, their site and linking to them.


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