Smooth starts to your Skype meetings

When it comes to audio and video calling in the workplace, Skype for Business is a brilliant solution which combines the familiar experience of Skype with all the enterprise-level security and control you need for your business communications.

However, if you’re working in a smaller team of up to 25 individuals, Skype could be an absolutely invaluable communications tool for your organization. Instant messages, group video calls (up to 10 participants), sharing screens and sending files are all free features of Skype that can make your work day much easier.

If you’re using Skype at work, take a look at the tips below for some quick and easy ways to prepare for your Skype meetings.

First, get everyone in the group using a link

In case you missed last week’s announcement, there’s a new way of getting people into your Skype groups. Now, when you create a new group, you’ll be given a link that you can share with your team so they can join at their convenience.

Join link

If you’re setting up a Skype call for a meeting, just create the group in advance and send the link out via instant message, email invite, carrier pigeon or semaphore flags.

Using a link to invite people to your group really speeds up the process if you don’t already have all the attendees in your Skype contacts, or if they’re not yet using Skype.

Share the meeting agenda

Now that you’ve got everybody in one group, it’s easy to share the meeting agenda in an instant message.

Having the agenda in the group instant messages means that once you start the call, you can show the instant message pane with a click of a button and have a constant reminder of what you need to cover.

To show the instant message pane while you’re on a call, simply click:

Open IMs

Tip: Type action items into the instant message pane during the call so you have a record of them later.

Start the call

Now that you’ve got everyone together and on the same page, you’re ready to get down to business. When the time comes to start your call, you’ve got two options.

First, there are the call buttons in the top right of Skype for starting an audio or video call. This is the well-known option – you click the button and it rings on the other end(s).

The other option is to use the /golive chat command, which will start the call, but doesn’t ring on the other end. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive, but bear with me: what this allows you to do is start a call which others can join if and when they’re ready.

They’ll see the call at the top of their contacts or recent conversation list once you start it:

Ongoing call

Then they can choose to join with their camera on or off:

Buttons to join call

Someone’s previous meeting running late? Not sure if everyone can make the call? Don’t waste time waiting for everyone – just type an instant message into the group like “Starting the call, please click to join when ready” and use the /golive command.

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Speaking of meetings, did you hear about the recent Skype Community day? A big portion of the Skype team made it their mission to spend time on the Skype Community meeting with you, our users, and listening to your feedback.

If your diary is wall-to-wall boring meetings today, take a five-minute break and come tell the Community about one feature you’d like to see in Skype. It might be the most productive five minutes of your day!