15 Google Workspace tips for video conferencing

Want to get more out of Google apps at work or school?  Sign up for a free Google Workspace trial

Assorted devices for web development

" "

Expand all  |  Close all

1

Check your equipment and setup""

Make sure Meet is using the correct camera, microphone, and speakers. Check your audio and video settings and options.

  • Audio—Consider wearing headphones or earbuds for better audio. You can also use your phone to speak and listen if you’re on the move or your connection is poor. Do a quick sound check before you start a meeting and learn how to mute yourself and others. You can even switch audio devices during a meeting.
  • Video—Sit in a well-lit area, ideally with light on your face and not behind, to avoid creating a silhouette.
Learn how

Have Meet call your phone

Available only if your phone number is in the U.S. or Canada

  1.  Choose an option:
    • If you’re in the meeting, click More Moreand then Use a phone for audio.
    • If you’re in the green room of a meeting, on the right, click Join and use a phone for audio. 
      • Tip: If you’re in a different domain than the meeting owner, someone in the meeting might need to approve you.
  2. Enter your phone number.
    • Tip: To save your number for future meetings, check the Remember the phone number on this device box.
  3. Click Call me.
  4. When prompted, press 1 on your phone.

Dial in by phone

An administrator needs to turn on this feature. See the supported countries.

If you’re in a different domain than the meeting owner and were not invited to the Google Calendar event, you must first join the video meeting and then someone in the meeting might need to approve you.

  1. Choose an option:
    • If you’re in the meeting, click More Moreand then Use a phone for audio.
    • If you’re in the green room of a meeting, on the right, click Join and use a phone for audio and then Dial in.
      • Tip: If you’re in a different domain than the meeting owner, someone in the meeting might need to approve you.
  2. Dial the number shown. Once connected, enter the pin followed by the # key.
  3. When prompted, press 1 on your phone.

2

Quickly schedule or start a meeting""

Use Gmail, Meet, Calendar, or a browser window to quickly start or schedule a video meeting.

Learn how

Start a video meeting from Meet

  1. Go to Google Meet.
  2. Click New Meeting.
  3. Select an option:
    • Create a meeting for later:
      • To share the meeting details for a future meeting, copy the meeting link and share with participants.
      • To directly start the meeting with this link, paste the link into a browser; or enter the link into the “Enter a code or link” field and then click Join.
    • Start an instant meeting: Create a new meeting and join the meeting directly. 
    • Schedule in Google Calendar: To schedule a meeting, you’re directed to Google Calendar.

Tip: Google Workspace Essentials users can't schedule a meeting in Google Calendar.

Start a video meeting from Gmail

Important: To start a video meeting from Gmail, you must turn on Meet in Gmail.
  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the bottom left corner, under “Meet,” click New meeting .
  3. To send the meeting invite via link or email, click Send invite
    • To copy the meeting invite details, click Copy meeting invite.
    • To send an email invite, click Share via email.
  4. When you’re ready to join the meeting, click Join now.
  5. Before you join your first meeting, make sure to allow permissions for your Microphone and Camera. Once you grant permission: 
    • To turn your microphone on or off, click Microphone Microphone.
    • To turn your camera on or off, click Camera Video call.
  6. To join the call, click Join now.
  7. To end the call, click Leave call Call end icon.

Start a video meeting from Calendar

When you create an event on Google Calendar, you can add a video meeting link.

  • Google Workspace users: You can also add a dial-in number to the Calendar event.
  • Google Workspace Essentials users: You can't schedule a meeting in Google Calendar.

Important: Guests can forward the meeting link to other people. If someone tries to join who was not invited to the Calendar event, a meeting participant from your organization must accept their request. For meetings organized by a personal Google Account, only the meeting creator can admit these participants.

  1. In Calendar, create an event.
  2. Click Add guests.
  3. Enter the names or email of the people you want to invite.
  4. Click Save.
  5. To notify guests, click Send.

Start a video meeting from another scheduling system

  1. Start a video meeting from Gmail or Meet.
  2. Copy the meeting details to an event created in your scheduling system.

3

Choose the best presenting option for your needs ""

Have the content you want to present open and ready for people to see. You can choose from 3 presenting options.

Learn how
  • Present your entire screen—Choose Your entire screen to show your browser, plus any tabs you have open. You might see an “infinite mirror” if you click Entire screen. To prevent this effect, try presenting from a single tab.
  • If you work with more than one screen—Choose A window and select the screen that you want to show.
  • To hide sensitive information on your screen only show one Chrome Browser tab—Choose A tab. Images and videos are high-definition (HD) if you use Chrome Browser, making slides with embedded visuals easier to view.

Tip: If you're not using Chrome Browser (which automatically hides any pop-up notifications), mute or turn off notifications so they don’t appear when you’re presenting.

4

Change your background""

To help limit distractions or make video meetings more interesting, you can change your background with a preset image or replace it with your own image.

Learn how

Change your background before a video meeting

  1. Open Google Meet.
  2. Select a meeting.
  3. On the bottom right of your meeting image, click Change Background "".
  4. Choose an option:
    • To slightly blur your background, click Slightly blur "".
    • To completely blur your background, click Blur "".
    • To select a preuploaded background, click a background.
    • To upload your own image for your background, click Add Add and select an image.
  5. Click Join now.

Change your background during a video meeting

  1. At the bottom of the Meet window, click More Moreand thenChange background "".
  2. Choose an option:
    • To slightly blur your background, click Slightly blur "".
    • To completely blur your background, click Blur "".
    • To select a preuploaded background, click a background.
    • To upload your own image for your background, click Add Add and select an image.

Note: Sensitive information might be visible when you change your background during a video meeting. Your camera turns on when you click to change the background. If you don’t see the change background option on your computer, see Change your background in Google Meet.

5

See as many participants as possible in a meeting""

When you’re in a video meeting, Meet automatically switches the layout to display the most active content and participants. You can also choose a different screen layout. For example, if a lot of people are sharing ideas, you might want to use the tiled option so you can see as many participants as possible. When you or others are presenting, you can unpin shared content to see more people in the grid.

Learn how

Change your layout

You can change the number of participants you see on your screen. The number of tiles may change depending on the size of your browser window.

  1. On a computer, join a video meeting.
  2. At the bottom, click More Customize and control Google Chrome and then Change layout . Choose an option:
    • Auto: The view that Meet chooses for you. By default, you’ll see 9 tiles on your screen.
    • Tiled: The view that can show up to 49 people at the same time. By default, you’ll see 16 tiles on your screen.
      • At the bottom, move the slider to the number of tiles you want to see on your screen. The number of tiles you choose becomes the default for future meetings until you change it.
    • Spotlight: The active speaker or shared screen fills the entire window.
    • Sidebar: The main image is the active speaker or shared screen. You’ll see thumbnails of additional participants on the side.
  3. Your new layout preference is automatically saved.

6

Let participants know the meeting will be recorded""

As a best practice, before your video meeting starts, inform participants that you’ll record the meeting. You can add a note to the Calendar invite or announce it before you start recording.

Learn how

Record a video meeting

  1. Open Meet.
  2. In a video meeting, at the bottom, click Activities ""and thenRecordingand thenStart recordingand thenStart.
    If needed, go to Can't find the recording button.
  3. Wait for the recording to start.
    Other participants are notified when the recording starts or stops.
  4. Click Stop recording when you finish.
    The recording also stops when everyone leaves the meeting.
  5. Click Stop recording again to confirm.

When the recording file is ready, it’s saved to the meeting organizer’s My Drive in the Meet Recordings folder. An email with the recording link is also sent to the meeting organizer and the person who started the recording.

7

Use live captions to show conversation text""

Make video meetings more accessible for users who are deaf and hard-of-hearing by using captions in Meet. When you turn on captions, they’re visible only on your device. If other participants in the meeting want to see captions, they have to turn them on for their devices as well.

Learn how

You can use captions in English in all locations.

  • If you're in the Asia Pacific or European regions, you can use captions in: English, French, German, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico), Spanish (Spain).
  • If you're in North America or Latin America, you can use captions in: German, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish (Mexico).

Tip: If you record a call, captions will not appear on the recording.  

Turn captions on or off

  1. On your computer, go to Google Meet.
  2. Join a video call.
  3. At the bottom, click Turn on captions "" or Turn off captions "".

Change the language

  1. At the bottom of the video call screen, click Menu 3 dot menu icon and then Captions "".
  2. Choose a language and then Apply.
Important: The language you select becomes the default until you change it.

8

Create a live-stream event""

When you need to present to a large audience, use Calendar or Meet to create a live-stream event. Up to 250 participants can attend. Or, you can add up to 100,000 view-only guests. You can’t see or hear view-only guests in the meeting, and they can’t present, record, or control streaming.

Learn how

Create a live stream event

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. Click Plus Create and then More options.
  3. Add the event details, such as date, time, and description.
  4. Add the guests that can fully participate in the video meeting. 
    • All guests added to this event can be seen, heard, and present their screen.
    • People from other organizations and trusted domains can be added. Only people in your organization can record and control streaming. For example, use this event to invite the speakers for your organization’s meeting. 
  5. Next to Join with Google Meet, click the Down arrow ""and then Add live stream.
  6. Click Add live stream again to confirm.
  7. To invite view-only guests, select an option:
    • Click Copy Copyand then share the live stream URL in an email or chat message. 
    • Continue to Part 2: Create an additional event for view-only guests.
      • Tip: Only guests within your organization or trusted domains can view the live stream. You can add up to 100,000 view-only guests.
  8. Click Saveand thenSend.
    Note: Streaming does not automatically start. During the meeting, at the top, click Start streaming, or click More ""and thenStart streaming.

9

Join to present at a meeting""

If you’re making a presentation, you can join a video meeting to only present. No audio or other video is sent or received to other people in the meeting.

Learn how

Join only to present

When you join a video meeting to present, only your computer's window or application is displayed in the meeting.

  1. Go to Meet.
  2. Select the scheduled meeting, or click Join or start a Meeting.
  3. Enter a meeting code.
  4. Click Present.
  5. Select a window or application and click Share.

10

Raise a hand to chime in""

You can indicate if you have a question or want to speak without disrupting the flow of the meeting by using the raise hand feature in Meet.

Learn how

Raise or lower your hand during a video meeting

  1. Open Meet.
  2. From a video meeting, at the bottom, click Raise hand or Lower hand "".

11

Conduct a poll to capture people’s attention""

Whether it’s identifying topics that need more discussion or testing comprehension, polls in Meet are a great way to break the ice in a video meeting. If you’re the meeting moderator, join the call a few minutes early and set up poll questions to gather reactions and engage the group throughout the meeting.

Learn how

Create a poll as a moderator

  1. Open Meet.
  2. From a video meeting, at the bottom, click Activities ""and thenPolls.
  3. Click Start a poll
  4. Enter a question and add options for the poll.
  5. Choose an option:
    • To post your poll, click Launch.
    • To save your poll so you can launch it later, click Save.

Polls you save appear under Polls for the duration of the video meeting. After the meeting ends, all polls are permanently deleted. Meeting moderators are emailed a polling report after the meeting.

12

Use a whiteboard""

With Meet, you can create or collaborate with Jamboard during a video meeting. Jamboard is a virtual whiteboard where you can brainstorm ideas with others.

Learn how

Start or open a jam during a video meeting

Important: To start or open a jam, you must join the video meeting from a computer.

  1. Open Meet.
  2. From a video meeting, at the bottom, click Activities ""and thenWhiteboarding
  3. Choose an option:
    • To create a new jam, click Start a new whiteboard.
    • To open an existing jam from Drive, shared drives, or from your computer, click Choose from Drive

The jam opens in a new tab. Everyone in the meeting gets a link to the jam in the Meet chat. Jams are saved in My Drive.

13

Organize breakout rooms for smaller discussions""

If you’re a meeting moderator, you can use breakout rooms to divide participants into smaller groups during video meetings in Meet. Participants can then easily rejoin the original meeting after their smaller group discussion.

Learn how

Create breakout rooms during a meeting

Only moderators can create breakout rooms. If needed, you can transfer the meeting to another moderator.

  1. On your computer, start a video meeting.
  2. At the bottom, click Activities ""and thenBreakout rooms.
  3. Click Set up breakout rooms "".
  4. Choose the number of breakout rooms. You can create up to 100 breakout rooms in a video meeting.
  5. (Optional) To set up a timer for your rooms:
    1. Click Timer "".
    2. Check the End breakout rooms after a set amount of time box.
    3. Set the timer amountand thenclick OK.

      Note: Each room will display a 30-second countdown before the timer ends. To edit or remove the timer, click Timer ""and thenuncheck the End breakout rooms after a set amount of time boxand thenclick OK.

  6. Meeting participants are automatically distributed across the breakout rooms. To manually move people into different rooms, choose an option:
    • Enter the participant’s name directly into a room.
    • Drag the participant’s name to another breakout room.
    • To randomly mix up the participants again, click Shuffle "".
    • To move all the participants back into the main call, click Clear "".
  7. When you’re ready to start using breakout rooms, at the bottom, click Open rooms.

14

Use Q&A to submit questions""

During a video meeting, you can use Q&A in Meet so participants can submit and upvote questions without disrupting the flow of the meeting or an important presentation. If you’re the meeting moderator, you’ll get a detailed report of all the questions and responses.

Learn how

Ask a question

  1. Open Meet and join a meeting.
  2. At the bottom, click Activities ""and thenQ&A.
  3. Click Ask a question.
  4. Enter your questionand thenclick Post.

Find, upvote, or delete a question

  1. Open Meet and join a meeting.
  2. At the bottom, click Activities ""and thenQ&A.
  3. (Optional) To sort questions by popularity or chronologically, next to Oldest first, click the Down arrow Down arrowand thenselect an option.
  4. (Optional) To view everyone’s questions, click All questions.
  5. (Optional) To view only your questions, click My questions.
  6. (Optional) To upvote a question, go to the question and click Upvote "".
  7. (Optional) To delete a question, go to the question and click Delete "".

15

Reverse your camera during a video meeting""

With the Meet app, you can reverse the camera on your mobile device during a video meeting. For example, you might want to show a whiteboard or notes in the room you're in.

Learn how

Reverse your camera in the Meet app

On Android:

  1. Open the Meet mobile app.
  2. Join a video call.
  3. On the top right corner, tap Switch camera .
On iOS:
  1. Open the Meet app Meet app.
  2. Join a video call.
  3. On the top right, tap Switch camera Flip camera.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?