5 Best practices for Conferencing with Skype for Business

Meetings, presentations, thesis defenses, and job interviews are a recurrent reality in our academic environment. Usually, they require advance scheduling to ensure that all the participants are available to attend.  However, today’s fast-paced working environments, global businesses, deadlines, and short time frames often require a tool to carry out meetings that otherwise would be difficult or impossible. As the technology to conduct online meetings has become more accessible and easier to use, many organizations are using online web-based systems such as Skype For Business (SFB) to overcome unforeseen situations or state and international boundaries.

Here are five best practices for using Skype for Business Conferencing to help you successfully run your next online meeting:

1. Select your meeting options in Outlook before sending your meeting invitations

SFB is integrated with Microsoft Outlook client to provide users with the ability to create and email meeting invitations. When you set up a new SFB meeting space through Outlook, you have options to select which attendees enter the meeting directly or which need to wait for you to let them in. It is a good idea to change these meeting options from the start to better fit your meeting requirements and prevent any presentation mishaps.

Additionally, if the meeting attendees don’t have SFB on their computer or don’t have an SFB account, they can use the link included in the meeting invitation to install the SFB web application and to join the meeting from their browser.

Click here for more information about setting participant access for SFB meetings: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/change-participant-settings-for-skype-for-business-meetings-9175e297-de5f-43b2-8e0f-85cc05e24986

2. Be aware of your surroundings and test your audio and video devices before the start of your meeting

Host your SFB meeting in a room that has good acoustics and move away from background noises (e.g., air conditioners, heaters, fans, refrigerators, clocks, high traffic areas, and phones — anything that makes a noise). If you are using a webcam, find a room that has good lighting and place the camera at a proper distance and angle. Remember that it is always a good idea to check and test your audio and video devices few minutes before the start of your meeting.

Click here for more information about setting up audio and video in SFB:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/video-set-up-audio-and-video-in-skype-for-business-c3cb24f0-e51c-448e-8bf7-b60f85f07be5

3. Prepare early

Join your meeting early to upload your content and to open any application that will be shared.

  • If you have prepared PowerPoint slides, use the “Share (MAC) or Present (PC) PowerPoint File” option which doesn’t require a large amount of bandwidth and reduces your risk of the application crashing and disrupting the meeting.

  • If you need to share other types of programs (e.g., Word, Excel, web browser), use the Share (MAC) or Present (PC) Desktop feature and a good internet connection or a wired Ethernet connection whenever possible. Note: Large PowerPoint presentations can take up to five minutes to load in the sharing window.

Click here for more information about presenting your desktop or specific programs:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/share-your-screen-in-skype-for-business-2d436dc9-d092-4ef1-83f1-dd9f7a7cd3fc

4. Avoid using the Present Program sharing options

If your participants use the SFB app on a smartphone or the SFB client on a Mac, avoid using the Present Program, Whiteboard, Poll and the Q&A sharing options since they are not yet supported on these systems.

Click here for more information about restrictions on presenting programs:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/share-your-screen-in-skype-for-business-2d436dc9-d092-4ef1-83f1-dd9f7a7cd3fc

5. Unless you are speaking, mute your microphone

Whether you are joining the meeting from your computer, or you are using the calling into the meeting from your phone, be aware of your surroundings and avoid background or microphone noise.

Click here for information about calling into a Skype for Business meeting on your mobile or other phone:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/call-into-a-skype-for-business-meeting-on-your-mobile-or-other-phone-9fc51fc3-f201-49b1-b2d3-97fe6f9da238


Web conferencing technologies are making a difference in our business processes by providing solutions to people who are on the move. If you have a UH mailbox address and CougarNet credentials, you can follow these best practices and start conferencing with Skype for Business. Enjoy your online meeting!

Note: Skype use has been restricted in some countries such as China and UAE, if meeting participants are connecting from abroad, check in advance whether they will be able to use the application.

Check the following tutorial to get started with Skype for Business at the University of Houston

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12O0r9-0sFdY_cNGXqIIavZz8FOP6KW7Kt2xycWiLaU8/edit?usp=sharing


One Response

  1. Velvette Laurence March 4, 2019

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