Increasing engagement with Google Meet features

04 January 2021

Many of us have become accustomed to working remotely and hosting most of our meetings over some form of video conferencing tool (ours obviously being Google Meet). 

BUT, have you ever been to a meeting and been frustrated at the lack of communication or engagement from your participants? 

We have all been there. Ensuring you have engagement from your audience can sometimes seem trickier than we think. In this blog, we have some tips on keeping engagement throughout a Google Meet, and best practices to abide by when on video meetings. 

Keeping up the engagement 

Netpremacy Google MeetBy now, many of us will have experienced the deathly silence you get from Google Meet participants after you have asked for an opinion or for an answer to a question. Some people are still adjusting. There is no doubting that engagement was easier in face to face meetings, and you may have found yourself easily bouncing ideas off of one another. This may have changed as people may be worried about talking over one another when on a Google Meet. We have found a number of ways to keep your participants engaged and involved in the conversation. 

Using the Q & A function

On the right-hand side of the Google Meet screen, there is now a Q&A option. Anyone in a meeting can ask questions. The questions show until they are deleted or hidden. After a meeting, the moderator gets a detailed report of all the questions. Anyone who schedules or starts a meeting will be the moderator, and there can only be one moderator per meeting. 

This function helps participants to ask questions through the tool, if they may not feel confident to speak up on the video call, and will also help when there are more people on the call, as it may get harder to speak up. This feature eliminates that worry. The feature also allows the participants to vote up a question which brings attention to the more popular questions. 

Ask a question

In a meeting, in the top-right corner, click Activities, click QuestionsIn the lower-right corner, click Ask a questionEnter your question click Post.

Raise your hand option 

Ever struggled to be heard over other participants in a Google Meet? 

Do you want to raise an opinion but you are not quite sure when to interject? Google Meet has you covered. By using the raise your hand option, you can easily let the moderator know that you would like to speak. Moderators can then work through the raised hands to ensure that everyone has had an opportunity to voice their opinion. Once a person has had their opportunity to speak, the moderator can “lower people’s hands”, or you can lower yours yourself. 

To raise your hand: Scroll to the bottom of the screen , click Hand raise.

To lower your hand: Scroll to the bottom of the screen, click Lower hand.

How to Lower hands as a moderator

From the top right, click the People tab. Scroll to the “Raised hands” section. To lower a hand, next to the participant’s name, click Lower handTo lower all hands scroll to “Raised hands” and click Lower all.

Polls

Google_Meet_PollsAnother great way to keep engagement on a Google Meet, and to gain valuable opinions and thoughts from your participants, is through the Poll option now available on Google Meet. 

Not only does this help keep your audience engaged, it also allows moderators to display the results. It gets your participants more involved in decision making within a meeting, and helps to avoid people talking over one another, and risking not being heard. Meeting hosts also receive a report with the tally of the results to make it easy to refer back and take action. 

 

Create a poll

In a meeting, in the top-right corner, click Activities, click PollsClick Start a pollEnter a question and add options for the poll. Choose one: To post your poll, click LaunchTo save your poll so you can launch it later, click Save.

As a meeting participant, you can submit a response for a poll. 

You’ll get a notification in the meeting when the moderator starts a poll. Be sure to submit your response before the poll or meeting ends. 

In a meeting: In the top-right corner, click Activities, click Polls. In the poll, select your response, click Vote.

Read Google’s blog for more information on the Q&A and Poll functions. 

Best Practices

Keep your camera on

It appears to vary from business to business on whether employees keep their camera on when partaking in a Google Meet. Some companies enforce employees as standard, whilst others do not feel the need for video. 

At Netpremacy we try to keep our camera on at all times. We feel that it puts a face behind a name, and keeps the engagement up. Many people feel more engaged and motivated when talking to a real image of that person, rather than just a stagnant profile picture. It is thought that video conferencing can provide better communication across teams via body language. Video also creates a sense of empathy & connection with your peers. A simple smile whilst on the Google Meet can go a long way. Something that is lost if you keep your video off at all times. 

Video is what keeps some normality and personality when working remotely which is why we think it’s so important. It enables better communication across teams, regardless of where they’re located. Ultimately this improves on building ideas, problem-solving, and working together, which is why we recommend to keep your video on where possible as standard.  

Here are some interesting statistics on video conferencing to provide a little more context behind what we are talking about :

 82% of those surveyed in 2020, described the video as an effective tool for communicating work-related information.1

Techsmith: Two-thirds (67%) of people understand information better when communicated visually 2  

GigaOM: 87% of remote team members feel more connected to their team when they can use video conferencing 3

Turn yourself on mute when not speaking

Although there is a noise cancellation feature available on Google Meet, we recommend putting yourself on mute when in a large meeting when you are not speaking. This eliminates sound from your keyboard, or awkward breathing down the mic, and means that the meeting you are running will be a smoother experience, and nobody will struggle to hear the speakers. This feature is automatically turned on when a meeting of more than 5 people. How many times in 2020 did we hear the phrase “you’re on mute!”. Avoid the awkwardness of this by checking your mic button before attempting to talk! 

Don’t talk over each other 

Finally, it does go without saying but can be something that causes disruption on a video call and as a result, can make it hard for participants to hear what is being said. Wait your turn, and do not talk over one another. It is good practice and good etiquette that will help your meetings to run smoothly. 

As we delve into 2021 and plan to continue to work in a more mobile and digital way, our top tips and best practices should help to keep engagement in your future virtual meetings. If you would like to keep up to date and receive more tips and best practices, sign up for our newsletter here.

20 July 2020

Netpremacy Next Highlights: Week 1

 

It’s fair to say that the opening week of Google Cloud Next online did not disappoint. With a range of product updates, industry insights and sessions on diversity and equality, Google hit the nail on the head with a strong and exciting start. We can’t wait to see what unfolds over the next 9 weeks. 

We have compiled just some of the updates and sessions that stood out to Netpremacy in particular and have rounded up what each session covered, and how you can access the on-demand content. 


Opening keynote

The week began with the opening Keynotes from Thomas Kurian. 

This session covered how Google, and companies across the globe have adapted to a changing world amidst a global pandemic, and how Google technologies have made that possible. Thomas spoke around how the future of work is going to be more digital and collaborative. He touched on how businesses have had to accelerate their digital transformation projects and bring them forward by 2-3 years to adapt to the changes that have happened since the pandemic. In addition to this, he spoke around how businesses are reimagining the way they work and that data powered innovation will make this possible. Watch the full on demand keynote here


Product Updates 

Google Meet in Gmail

Some exciting changes were announced around how Gmail is going to be made into a more collaborative space, with tools from Hangouts and more all being accessible in one interface. This change will be rolled out to G Suite users by introducing a dedicated Meet tab in the Gmail iOS and Android mobile apps. This means users will soon be able to join secure video meetings directly in Gmail without needing to open another app on their phone. The full update can be found here.

BigQuery omni release 

Another exciting announcement was on BigQuery Omni. This is a flexible, multi-cloud analytics solution that lets you cost-effectively access and securely analyse data across Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Azure. All of this is now possible without leaving the familiar BigQuery user interface. Using standard SQL and the same BigQuery APIs you will be able to gain critical business insights from a single pane of glass. Due to BigQuery Omni being powered by Anthos, businesses will now be able to analyse data without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.

Google Meet Updates 

Next up was the announcement of many new changes coming to Google Meet in Q3, and how this can help businesses to become more seamless when communicating through Google Meet. There are many new features that will be rolled out soon that will make for a more streamlined and enhanced experience. We recently wrote a blog on the new features coming soon, read more here. 


Industry Insights

As well as product updates and announcements, Google released a series of online content that put into perspective how different industries have adapted along with the pandemic. These industry insights have helped businesses gain confidence on how they can successfully adapt and thrive due to Google technologies. 

Retail 

In this briefing, Google discusses the recent challenges in retail and what they are working on to help their customers. Digital transformation in retail has been happening long before COVID-19, but now businesses are seeing a sense of urgency to innovate faster. To help tackle these challenges, Google has been working on industry specific solutions, through driving operational improvements, capturing digital and omnichannel revenue growth, and helping make data driven decisions. Watch the full session here.

Manufacturing 

Here Google addresses what the “new normal” is for businesses in the manufacturing industry, and how they have moved and adapted throughout the years when faced with serious disruption. We have witnessed unprecedented disruption to a strong economy and our daily lives. This has included dropping oil prices, record unemployment, demand uncertainty, supply chain disruption, major austerity measures, unprecedented government intervention and unstable credit markets. Watch the full session here to learn how manufacturing businesses have moved to a more digital environment to adapt and continue to thrive.

Healthcare 

This session covers how healthcare has had to adapt their technologies and make changes that would have taken 10 years, in just 10 weeks. It explains how Google technology has been helping with the fight against COVID-19. Whether it’s been helping people access information, supporting hospitals and research, or working alongside customers to build a strong foundation for the future. In particular how Google meet has been used to replace in-person appointments when social distancing measures have not allowed face-to-face appointments. Technology has been shaping the world’s response to coronavirus and that doesn’t stop in just the healthcare sector. Watch the full session here. 

Earthquake detection 

A recent experiment using one of our subsea fiber optic cables showed that it could be useful for earthquake and tsunami warning systems around the globe. This is exciting news for the advancement in technology, and how it could potentially help us to avoid or cope with natural disasters in a much more controlled and successful way. Read the full blog post here

These are just some of the announcements and links to the new content that Google Cloud Next has pushed out in week 1, and we can’t wait to see what week 2 brings. To see the full announcements and updates, head over to Google’s blog. To book onto week 2, productivity and collaboration head over to the Google Cloud Next website.