You learn as you go.
After I started sharing blogging tips on my website I noticed there was an issue among the tips I was discussing on my blog. Since my blog is not only about blogging in general, I had a mix of tips going on under the “Mommy Tips” category, so I thought about how I could separate the two — tips for moms and tips for moms that are bloggers. I was looking into creating a video series when I first thought of MomViews, but something told me that was not the right fit.
Just months after launching the blogging tips series I knew I could use Google+ Hangouts to reach a wider audience. And that was what I did with my first Google+ Hangout On Air.
Where Things Went Wrong
If I could have saved myself the embarrassment, I would have. But there is nothing like leaving your comfort zone to learn something new.
Maybe I should have researched a bit before hitting the Start button this weekend. Or maybe I should have stuck to my original plan of showing slides instead. I am glad I did neither or these because I learned from a semi-failed Google+ Hangout On Air. If you did not catch the session, you may not be aware of the disaster that went down. I will gladly embarrass myself by linking to it here so you know what not to do on your Google+ Hangout On Air.
So, if you decided to skip on the video and want to know how I messed this one up, here are a couple of my thoughts and how I will improve next time:
I had notes I wanted to cling onto for dear life, but I went off topic a few times by not reading my script. Part of me is not sorry for steering away from my notes because I sounded less like a robot and more like a person just having a conversation with my viewers.
I had a better looking media kit in mind than the one I actually put out. Next time I will make sure I have my documents ready well in advance to make sure I have everything I will need to present.
I ran the presentation 10-15 minutes late because I was putting my son to sleep. Something told me to push the time to 12:30 p.m., but I told myself it should be fine. Knowing Jeff had to work at the time my session would begin means I had little time to prepare or even practice before the live session. This was not a good thing since I had never done a Google+ Hangout prior to that day.
I wanted to straighten my hair the previous day, but I did not do so. This might sound silly, but I honestly wish I had straightened my hair before turning on the camera. I will have to plan ahead on curly hair days and just showcase slides.
If I had avoided the mistakes I mentioned above, I may not have learned how to improve. So if you would like to try a Google+ Hangout On Air, go for it! But I do recommend you prepare ahead of time. It just makes it less stressful.
To help other bloggers, I have put together a list of checkpoints to avoiding mistakes while On Air:
For some people having notes means writing a script of what you are going to say during the presentation while others prefer a bulleted list of topics. The choice is yours.
Whether you decide to show your face or hide behind slides, you will need to have your thoughts written down. After you have done all the work you can feel confident your event will be a success when you promote it to your audience. Having your notes ready also gives you a heads up on teasers for social media promotion.
Scheduling a recap is a nice-to-have option for your readers. After all, not everyone can make the live session and most may not even have the time to sit through more than 10 minutes of your presentation. Offering a recap helps your followers take in the “meat” of the discussion — all the important stuff you shared.
They say practice makes perfect, and I could not agree more. Give yourself 30 minutes to go over all the important things. Test the platform and get to know where all the buttons are, especially how to use the screenshare option.
Have you ever tried a Google+ Hangout On Air? Share your experience below!