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Home / Technology / 7 Skype for Business Tips and Tricks for Great Meetings

7 Skype for Business Tips and Tricks for Great Meetings

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Skype for Business, formerly Lync, is Microsoft’s enterprise message and meeting solution. You can meet with up to 250 people — even if they’re not using Skype — and use a combination of audio, visuals, and chat to host your meeting.

We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite Skype for Business features that you might not know about. From recording your meeting to sharing your PowerPoint presentations, we’ve got you covered with some great tips.

If you have your own advice on Skype for Business to share, let us know in the comments.

1. Create a Meeting Within Outlook

Don’t waste your time messing around with scheduling meetings in external tools. There’s so much potential for things to go wrong with online meetings and it often does.

Perhaps someone forgets to join on time, doesn’t have the right browser plugin installed, or can’t connect their headset. Get rid of all this hassle by using a Skype for Business meeting when scheduling meetings.

Skype Meeting

When creating an appointment in Outlook, on the Appointment tab, click Skype Meeting. This will then embed a link in the description, which people can click to join the meeting. If they have reminders activated on Outlook, they’ll simply be able to click Join Meeting when it pops up and Skype for Business will automatically launch it. Gone is the worry of manually inviting people into a call — if they’re on the invitation, they can join.

If you can’t see the Skype Meeting button, you just need to make a quick change in your Outlook settings. Go to File > Options > Add-ins. On the Manage dropdown select COM Add-ins and click Go… Tick the box next to Skype Meeting Add-in for Microsoft Office and click OK. Done!

2. Record Your Meetings

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been in a meeting, hung up the call, and then had a complete mind blank later on. Did that person definitely say that? What were the action points? You can completely overcome that by recording all of your Skype for Business meetings. Any call activity, like audio, video, screen share, and instant message, will be captured in the recording.

Start Recording Skype Business

 

Record your Skype for Business meeting

  1. Click the More Options button, and choose Start Recording.During your Skype for Business meeting, click Start RecordingIf the recording option is dimmed, your audio might not be connected. Click the mic icon to connect audio, then try again.
  2. Use the controls at the bottom of the meeting to pause, resume, or stop the recording.Use the controls to Pause and Stop recording buttons
  3. To see who else is recording, point to the red recording button.
  4. When you’re done, click Stop Recording.All recordings have stopped message displayed in your Skype for Business meeting
  5. Skype for Business automatically saves the recording in MP4 format that plays in Windows Media Player.You can exit the meeting while the recording is being processed.

To find any recording, go to the main Skype for Business screen and click the settings cog dropdown. From here, go to Tools > Recording Manager. This will show you metadata for your recordings, like the date and length. You can also Play the recording and Browse… to find the file on your PC.

3. Know the Shortcuts

Like every Office product, Skype for Business is crammed full of keyboard shortcuts to help you get things done quickly.

To begin with the basics, press Windows key + Shift + O to accept an incoming invitation or Windows key + Esc to decline it. To mute/unmute your audio, press Windows key + F4. The camera works the same, but is Windows key + F5.

best-mechanical-keyboards

When in a call, press Ctrl + Shift + H to put it on hold, or Alt + Q to end it entirely. When sharing your screen, press Ctrl + Alt + S to stop doing so. Alternatively, if someone else has taken control of your screen, press Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar to regain control.

The program has too many shortcuts to list here, so head over to Microsoft’s Skype for Business shortcut page for the full low-down, where they cover shortcuts for IM, PowerPoint sharing, contacts browsing, and more.

4. Set Contact Privacy Relationship

You can assign each of your contacts one of five relationship levels. By default, those within your business will be Colleagues, and those outside will be External Contacts. Each relationship level has different permissions — for example, Friends and Family can’t see your meeting details and Workgroup can interrupt your Do Not Disturb status.

Skype Business Relationship

To alter a contact’s relationship status, right click on their name and go to Change Privacy Relationship. Here you can review the current relationship status and find descriptions of the other options. If you want to select multiple contacts to change relationships in bulk, hold down Ctrl and left click on each name in turn.

Situations where changing the relationship is useful include if you’re working with someone externally who you’re constantly organizing meetings with, or if there’s someone you want to always be able to contact you no matter your status. If you ever want to change the relationship back to default, click Auto-assign Relationship.

Figure 1. Sample privacy relationship manager UI

Screen shot of privacy relationship manager UI

Privacy relationship rules

The following table shows the five rules and lists the restrictions on enhanced presence visibility enforced by each rule.

Rule Privacy constraint
Friends and family All contact card information is visible except for meeting details.
Workgroup All contact card information is visible except for home telephone and other telephone. The contact can interrupt do-not-disturb status.
Colleague All contact card information except for meeting details and home, mobile, and other telephone number is visible.
External contacts The name, title, email address, company, and picture are visible.
Blocked The name and email address are shown. The contact cannot reach the user who is using Lync.

5. Start a Poll, Q&A, and Whiteboard

You can spice up your meetings by using the whiteboard, poll, and question-and-answer features. To use these in a meeting, click the Present Content button, select More, and then choose either Whiteboard, Poll, or Q&A.

 

  1. In the Conversation Window, click on the monitor icon 
  2. Click More…
  3. Choose Whiteboard, Poll or Q&A

Whiteboard

When you choose Whiteboard, the Conversation Window will change into a Whiteboard screen:

More about Whiteboard

The Tools are on the leftside of the screen and include (from top to bottom order):

  • Virtual Laser Pointer – to help you point out items on the screen
  • Text Box – Click in on the Whiteboard and start typing
  • Drawing Tool
  • Highlight Tool
  • Eraser Tool
  • A Stamp Tool which includes a green check, blue arrow, and a black ‘X’
  • A Shape Tool for drawing straight lines, boxes, ovals and arrows
  • A tool to Add a Picture onto the whiteboard from your computer
  • Delete Selected Annotation
  • and More Options:  Select All, Undo, Redo, Copy, Cut, Paste, Paste as Image, Delete All Annotations from this Page, Save As, and Send to OneNote.

To stop using the Whiteboard click the Stop Presenting at the top of the whiteboard screen:

Poll

When you choose Poll, you will be prompted to enter the poll Name, Question and possible Answers.  Then click Create when finished.

The Poll will be open immediately for use and percentages of answers will be visible:

Click the Stop Presenting button to stop the poll.

Q & A

Q & A drives engagement by asking your attendees to submit an answer to a question.  This also temporarily turns off the Chat (Instant Messaging feature).

More about the Q & A Manager

* To make everyone an Attendee, click on Participants > Participant Actions > Everyone an Attendee

When you choose Q & A, you are prompted to ask a question.  As soon as the presenter answers it, everyone will see it.

To save this question to use at a later time or for another session, click Save As..

To stop the Q & A click the Stop Q & A button.

Finding and Saving your Presentable Content to use during your Online Meeting / Webinar

If you created Whiteboard content, Polls, and Q & As either prior to your online meeting or during a previous meeting, you can find them by clicking on the monitoricon   and then clicking on More > Manage Presentable Content

Finding Your Content

Click the Present Now button to edit or present the whiteboard, poll or Q & A to your audience.

Saving Your Content

Click on More ▼ to Save, Send to OneNote or Rename your content to access later.

6. Present a PowerPoint

You can share your screen in Skype for Business, but sometimes you might only want to show a presentation. The integration with PowerPoint allows this. Open your presentation in PowerPoint, go to the Slide Show tab and click Present Online > Skype for Business. You get the option to send this to a meeting already in progress or to create a new meeting.

Skype Business PowerPoint

You can do the same thing in other Office applications.

First, you need to sign in Skype using your credentials. Here you will see the list of contacts and then find the contact to whom you want to share your presentation in PowerPoint using Skype.

How to share a PowerPoint presentation using Skype

Screen sharing or Show My Desktop is the feature in Skype that allow you to share the screen with your contact.

Click the small plus icon and then the popup will appear.

Here you will see a list of options including Send File, Send Contacts, Show My Desktop and Add people to this conversation.

Make sure to select Show My Desktop and this will enable the screen sharing options in Skype.

If you are already in a conversation, you can start your screen sharing by choosing Show Entire Screen option.

entire screen skype sharing options

Group sharing also make possible to share the screen with a group of contacts instead of just one.

Once you chose the screen sharing options you can start broadcasting your PowerPoint presentation.

Go to PowerPoint and start your presentation. You can learn more on how to start PowerPoint presentations but the easiest way is to press F5 to start the slideshow.

Another way to start a screen sharing in Skype for your PowerPoint presentation is under the Call menu in Skype. Here you can choose Share Your Screen option and then Share Full Screen. This will enable Sharing Screen in Skype and then you can start your PowerPoint slideshow. Your contact will see your screen until you press Stop Screen Sharing in Skype.

powerpoint skype sharing

If you enjoyed reading this article where we explained how to share PPT in Skype then we encourage you to sign up to our weekly newsletter or review our free PowerPoint templates where you can download .ppt files for your next presentation.

Update 2014-12: Now Microsoft announced Skype chat is integrated in Office Online PowerPoint and Word. You can collaborate directly with your contacts from these programs (online versions, only). If you need to chat with your contacts at the same to you are writing a document or prepare a PowerPoint presentation then you can use PowerPoint Online with Skype Chat.

 

When you’re presenting in Skype for Business, you’ll see the necessary icons on screen in order to control the content, like arrows to move between PowerPoint slides. Click Stop Presenting at any time to cease sharing the file with everyone.

7. Transfer to Mobile

If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a Skype for Business call and needing to leave the computer, you can just switch the call to your mobile phone. To set this up, go to Settings > Tools > Options > Phones > Mobile Phone… Input your Phone number (include any country/region code) and click OK.

Skype Business Transfer Call

Now, when in a Skype for Business call, click the Call Controls button and then click Transfer. Now select My Mobile and click Transfer. You will get a call on your mobile which will automatically connect you into the Skype for Business call.

The great thing about this is that you don’t need the Skype for Business application installed on your phone. However, there’s currently no way to transfer the call back from the phone to Skype for Business.

Host Your Meetings Like a Pro

With all these tips under your belt, you can now host your meetings like a pro. Your colleagues will be impressed by your efficient meeting organization, how smoothly you share content, and how cool it is when you create that poll.

Now that you’ve got the technology under control, you should also see our article on how to survive meetings at work. If you’re looking for more tips outside an enterprise environment, check out our guide on how to be a more efficient Skype user.

What’s your favorite Skype for Business feature? Is there anything you think the program is missing?

#SkypeforBusiness #Skypefeatures

 

Sources:
Microsoft Office Support
Make Use Of
MSDN
Stony Brook University
Free Power Point

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