Traditional meetings can be a challenge when people are dispersed across worldwide locations. Communication technology can overcome this physical boundary by allowing people to attend from any location with Internet or phone access. In addition, by understanding the best practices for conducting meetings and productively using Microsoft Skype for Business, you can make your meetings more efficient and effective.
Get Started with Skype for Business
To get started with Skype for Business, you will need:
- Skype for Business software (installed with Microsoft Office Professional Plus).
- An audio device and webcam (optional).
Check Your Audio and Video Devices
Before you use Skype for Business to make or receive calls, check your settings to make sure your audio and video devices are configured to function the way you expect.
- Click the Options button on the upper right side of the Skype for Business window.
- To check your audio settings, click Audio Device in the Skype for Business – Options dialog box. Use the testing buttons on this page to make sure that your speaker, microphone, and ringer are all working, and that your call quality is acceptable.
- To check your video settings, click Video Device. Verify that your camera is working properly and adjust camera settings as needed.
Note: Do not use your webcam as the default audio device.
Set You Meeting Space Options in Outlook
It’s a good idea to set up your meeting space options from the start. There are two Skype for Business meeting space options that you can set through Outlook.
- If you choose the A new meeting space (I control permissions) option, Skype for Business creates a brand-new meeting with a unique ID. You can customize permissions (such as who gets to be a presenter), mute people, or prevent people from sharing video. Choose this option to avoid the problem of having meeting participants in a current meeting mix with participants joining at the end of that meeting.
- If you choose the My dedicated meeting space (less secure) option, you will always use the same meeting ID and permissions. Content, such as a Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation, remains in the meeting until you delete it. This is a good option for informal and regular meetings with coworkers.
To set meeting space options:
- In Outlook, open the Calendar, and then click New Skype Meeting.
- Click Meeting Options.
- In the Skype Meeting Options dialog box, select who will forego the lobby. If you select Only me, the meeting organizer this will set the meeting permissions to locked until the organizer unlocks the meeting. This will also lock the audio conference as well.
- Click Remember Settings.
Schedule and Join a Skype for Business Meeting
Skype for Business is integrated with Outlook to allow meeting requests to be sent and received via email between organizers and attendees. The Outlook add-in for Skype for Business is installed automatically when Office is installed.
Skype for Business supports online meetings and calls (video and audio). One meeting request is used for both purposes.
Schedule a Skype for Business Meeting in Outlook
- Open Outlook and go to the calendar.
- Click New Skype Meeting. Note: You can also open a regular meeting first, and then click Skype Meeting on the ribbon.
- Set up the meeting:
- In the To box, enter the email addresses for the people you want to invite.
- Type a subject, and then select a start and end time.
- Type the agenda in the meeting area, but be careful not to change any of the Skype Meeting information.
- Click Scheduling Assistant (optional) on the ribbon to check schedules for the people you are inviting.
Click a time slot to select a different time.
- Double-check the information, and then click Send.
- If you have both in-person and online attendees, you might want to run your Skype meeting in a conference room. Click Room Finder in the Scheduling Assistant to find and add a conference room in the building of your choice. Or book the room separately, and then add the room information in the Location box.
- If your meeting is with people outside Microsoft, or you’re scheduling a large event, change the meeting options before sending the meeting request to better fit your meeting requirements. For more information, see “Get started with Skype for Business” earlier in this document.
Join a Scheduled Skype for Business Meeting
You can use Skype for Business to join meetings over the Internet from any Internet-connected computer or device. You can also join a meeting by running the Skype for Business mobile client application on a supported mobile device.
- In the Outlook meeting request, click Join Skype Meeting. Note: You can also join a meeting by right-clicking the meeting in the Calendar, and then clicking Join Skype Meeting.
- In the Join Meeting Audio dialog box, select a type of audio connection.
Top Ten Best Practices for Skype for Business Meetings
1. Use an audio device recommended by Microsoft IT to avoid echoes or other audio issues.
2. Mute your audio unless you are speaking.
3. If you are joining a meeting alongside other attendees sitting in the same room, use only one computer to log on to the meeting to prevent audio feedback.
4. Use a wired Ethernet connection whenever possible.
5. Set up and test your audio devices before starting.
6. Provide a clear and complete invitation, including a meeting agenda.
7. Join your meeting early to prepare your content. Upload slides or documents to be shared, and start applications you want others to view during sharing.
8. Set your screen display to 1024 x 768 pixels for the best viewing experience (800 x 600 portrait for tablet PCs).
9. Mute participants who cause a poor audio experience.
10. Enlist the help of an assistant for larger meetings.