Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Using Google Presentations in a Hangout

Created January 8, 2013 by Trevor Beck and Ronnie Bincer

Using Presentations

Setup before starting your hangout

  1. From Google Drive (not the Google Drive for Hangouts tool) open your presentation document (typically will open in a new tab).
  2. Move new tab (Presentation) into a new browser window.
  3. Using the dropdown menu (Present) in the upper right, select “Present with Speaker Notes”.
  4. Resize the presentation window to remove any black bars (optional).

Once the hangout has started and you’re ready to give your presentation:

  1. Select Screenshare App from within the Hangout window.
  2. Select the presentation browser window to share.
  3. Bluebox yourself to keep your presentation window front even when others speak.
  4. Use the speaker notes window to drive the presentation forward by clicking on the thumbnail for the next slide.

Note: this will provide you with a browser window that will allow you to display your presentation, as well as open additional tabs to surf the web. Any tabs opened on this window will be viewable through the screenshare.


  • you can adjust the size of the fonts for the speaker notes using the minus and plus signs at the top right of the Speaker Notes window. Or you can start the speaker notes at a larger size to begin with.
  • for a more focused presentation, you can present the window without tabs by selecting “Present in new window” first.
  • you can resize the slide window to a smaller size to give you more room on your desktop. Caution: this may slightly affect the displayed content size in the hangout.
  • if you add animation to objects or transitions between slides that are set to appear on click, you can click on the thumbnail in the speaker notes. Do not advance by using the slide numbers drop-down menu below the thumbnails.
  • your cursor will be visible to your audience (it’s a screenshare). Place your cursor away from the window if you don’t want it visible. (Could be a Bonus... for pointing to things in the live presentation... like a laser pointer). If you do utilize the pointer as part of the presentation, then use your Arrow Keys to advance the presentation.
  • if you are presenting by yourself through Hangouts on Air (HOA), your screenshare will automatically display at full screen (no filmstrip will be visible to your audience). If there are other participants in the HOA, you can achieve the same effect of full screen by video-muting the participants’ video thumbnails in the filmstrip (Cameraman technique).
  • remember to bluebox yourself/your screenshare so that others can talk without interrupting the display
  • participants using mobile devices will be able to view the screenshare - they cannot collaborate on documents within the Hangout.
  • remember not to use fast transitions for slides and objects (minimum of 2 seconds)
  • if using your mouse as a pointer, make it larger
    • Macs: System Preferences → Accessibility → Display
    • Windows: Control Panel → Hardware and Sound → Devices and Printers → Mouse

#hangouttips #hangouts #googledriveinhangouts

Associated videos:

  1. Google Drive Hangout App is NOT for Presentations
  2. Using Google Presentations in a Hangout or HOA
  3. Summary with Q & A for Presentations in a Hangout or HOA

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Google Drive Hangout App is NOT for Presentations

Discover the proper way to use the Hangout App for Google Drive

Using Google Drive Documents inside a Hangout has a lot of value, but it is not very useful if you are trying to do a presentation to a group within the hangout or to a group watching it from the outside. The main problem is everyone in the hangout can open up their own version of the document and may be at a different place than the ‘leader’ or ‘presenter’ is. We have some great ideas on how to utilize Google Drive docs as a presentation method which will be shown in our example HOA/video.

What the Hangout App called Google Drive is really quite useful for is online collaboration inside the hangout. Inside a hangout, you can have a virtual meeting where each party involved can brainstorm, discuss, etc. and get those thoughts into a shared document all at the same time in the same meeting.

If you're any kind of a power user of Google Docs (i.e. Google Drive), you know about the power of collaboration. Your document lives in "the cloud" (i.e. Google Drive) and is only available to you. However, by "sharing" your document, you can assign specific rights (view, comment or edit) to individuals. Now a group of people can work on a document together - either at the same time or at a time convenient for the individual (how to set up document sharing:

If you understand this, then it's easy to see the purpose of the Google Drive tool within Hangouts - it allows you to *edit* collaboratively within a Hangout. You basically see the same window, except it’s within the Hangout. With Google Drive for Hangouts (GDH), you choose from the files you have access to that you want to work on with the participants of your Hangout. Just like working on a document together from Google Drive (web app) you can see changes being made in real time *if you're both looking at the same page*. This is where the confusion comes in.

Let's assume we're both working on a Google word processing document in a Hangout. By default, it opens on the first page and as I make changes, you see it happen in real time. Same thing goes for a spreadsheet or presentation. However, we can actually work on different parts of the document at the same time. With word processing, I could be editing on page 2 while you’re adding new text on page 5. However, because the default view for both of us is page 1, we can’t see the edits happening.

This is why many people are confused about using the presentation tool. When GDH is loaded, we both see slide 1. Here again, we could both be working on different slides. However, you’ll also notice there’s no way to actually view it as a presentation within the Hangout - the purpose of GDH is to *edit* the document collaboratively.

So, is there a way to present a presentation? Yes there is and we’re working on instructions on how to do that and will be presenting that very soon.

#googledrive #hangouttips #hangouts #googledriveinhangouts #HOA