How to prepare for a videoconference (Google Meet)
Here are some quick tips on how to prepare for a videoconference, and what to expect when you join a Google Meet link like the one used in our support groups and some of our workshops.
How to log in – click the “join meeting” link on our website or in your email. If you are accessing a workshop on your smartphone or tablet, you will be prompted to download the Google Meet app and then sign in with your email address (it’s free).
Take a few minutes before the start time to make sure your equipment works. Follow these guidelines:
Prepare your space – don’t have any distractions behind you, make sure it’s quiet and comfortable. Make sure that your desk/table is clear.
Prepare your camera – make sure it is working. Make sure the angle is appropriate and you have adequate lighting.
Prepare your sound – make sure you can hear. If you are having trouble with sound, try plugging in earphones. Silence your cellphone, be in a quiet room, and try not to eat food during the meeting (it’s distracting).
Google Meet Layout:
Frequently Asked Questions
It isn‘t working/I’m getting a blank screen! What do I do?
Programs can vary depending on the age of your computer. Try downloading Google Chrome. It’s freeHERE.
Can I participate by smartphone or tablet?
Yes, download the Google Meet app on your phone or tablet. However, if you have access to a computer, you have more viewing options, which you might prefer. For example, on a smartphone, you can only see the person who is talking, but on a computer you can see everyone at once.
Can I participate by telephone?
For workshops: No, our workshops are not accessible only by phone. Please join us by video using the link provided in the email you received when you registered.
For support groups: If you do not have access to the internet, we may allow you to participate by phone call only. Please call 514-486-1448 to discuss your situation.
Can I change the layout of the screen?
There are a few different “views” in Google Meet. Here’s how to select what works best for you:
Under “Change layout” you can choose different views.
Please note that you can see up to 50 people per screen on Google Meet.
Why are you using Google Meet instead of Zoom?
Zoom and Google Meet are very much the same. However, Zoom charges a fee for meetings that are longer than 45 minutes. We have 3-4 Support Groups occurring at the same time, so it would be costly to have 4 Zoom Accounts. Google Meet is free for us as a non-profit organization.
Also, if you are participating by telephone, Zoom is based in the United States, so you would be charged international long distance rates to join.
When are you going back to in-person events?
We are in unprecedented times during the COVID-19 pandemic. AMI-Quebec’s top priority is the safety of our participants, volunteers, and staff. We will not hold in-person events until we are certain there is a low risk to our entire community. Click HERE to sign up for monthly email updates for information.
I don’t want my name to appear, how can I do that?
If you don’t use Gmail: Google Meet will ask for your name–feel free to just enter your first name.
If you have a Gmail email address: Google Meet uses the name on your Gmail account. If you’d prefer to use just your first name, find out how by clicking: How to change your name on Google Meet.
Why aren’t you doing telephone support groups anymore?
Our feedback indicated that people wanted to see each other and had trouble figuring out who was speaking on the phone, especially in larger groups. Facilitators could no longer “see body language” of participants, making their roles more difficult. Also people with hearing issues had difficulty having a phone to their ear for 90 minutes. Google Meet is also free; we had to pay for the telephone technology we were using. But don’t worry–you can still participate by phone; see “can I participate by telephone” above.
What if I don’t want people to see my background at home?
We recommend you find a place where a wall is behind you, or you could place a sheet or curtain behind you. You could also use your smartphone and sit in a car or outside.
I have trouble hearing. How can I participate?
When you are in a meeting, there is a button at the bottom right marked Turn On Captions. Click on that. You will see words (like movie subtitles) of everything being spoken.
I need technical assistance!
If you need help during an event, email email@example.com. For assistance ahead of time, phone us during business hours at 514-486-1448.
We know this can be confusing. AMI-Quebec is here for you.