Skype for Business Video Calls

IMPORTANT: UWs Marshfield and Wausau staff, please see the FAQ, "Help! I work at one of UW's two-year campuses and my audio doesn't work during Skype for Business meetings"

Skype for Business is great for asking a quick question or two via the Skype chat box. But did you know that it's also used for video meetings with one or more people?

The easiest way to invite others on- and outside of campus to a Skype for Business meeting (AND make sure your meeting makes it to their busy calendar), is to send a Skype meeting request from your Outlook desktop Calendar (your Outlook desktop app is your installed version of Outlook).

Tip: Consider including the link to this Skype for Business page in your meeting invite to help address common questions.

Send a Skype Meeting Request

Note: Does creating a New Skype Meeting create an error?  Search for, or locate Skype for Business in your Start menu and Sign in. 

You must first be logged into Skype for Business to create a New Skype Meeting.

 

On your Outlook desktop calendar's Home tab click New Skype Meeting.


Complete the rest of your meeting request as you normally do your Outlook Meeting invitations.

Your new meeting request includes two links for participants to join your meeting:

A Join Skype Meeting link and a Try Skype Web App link.

We recommend that you delete the "Join Skype Meeting" link and use the "Try Skype Web App" link.


Before sending your Skype for Business meeting invitation, we recommend that you delete the "Join Skype Meeting" link, then edit the "Try Skype Web App" link text to fit your Meeting invitation.


Delete
the "Join Skype Meeting" link, then edit the "Try Skype Web App" link text to fit your Meeting invitation.


 

Why should the "Try Skype Web App" be used?

When a participant clicks the Join Skype Meeting link the installed Skype client is passed the participant's organization account credentials. The participant then accesses the meeting wth the elevated permissions of a presenter. There are times when a participant's credentials are not passed successfully.  For example, they may be traveling with their laptop, or another installed application may cause a conflict.  In this event, the participant is unable to access the meeting via the Join Skype Meeting link.

The Try Skype Web App link does not require access to the participant's organization account credentials. Instead, the participant enters the meeting as a guest with Attendee access. Once in the meeting, a participant entering as an Attendee can be given Presenter access if needed.

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Join Skype Meeting link

The Join Skype Meeting link can be used by participants on campus, and by participants at affiliated* campuses and organizations that support Skype for Business.

The Join Skype Meeting link immediately authenticates participants as "who they are". Typically this is done when the participant uses their organization's login information to access a device (computer or laptop) or an application which then shares those credentials with the Skype for Business meeting. Because the participant has accessed the meeting through a secure environment their names automatically display in the meeting and they are immediately added as presenters.

The first time you access a meeting via the Join Skype Meeting link, you will be prompted to install the Skype meeting client.

Use the Try Skype Web App link (see below) if you are accessing the meeting from:

  • a personal computer

  • an organization which is not affiliated

  • a computer on campus or an affiliated campus which is experiencing problems installing the Join Skype Meeting client or other issues.

 

Try Skype Web App link

install a plug-in

Participants enter as "Guests".

 by default are held in the Skype for Business "Lobby" and must be admitted to the meeting by the meeting organizer or a presenter.

See the information item

* For a list of our affiliated campuses and organizations visit our Email FAQs page. Select the FAQ, "Can I schedule calendar meetings and Skype calls with other campuses?"

 Tips For Outlook Meeting Organizers

  • Arrive early to the meeting so anyone new to video calls knows they're in "the right place".

  • Include in your message to invitees a suggestion to join your meeting early to test and "get the bugs out".

  • Scheduling an important, "high-stakes" meeting?  A day or two prior offer an optional, brief "test run" for attendees.

  • Add your invitees to your Outlook Contacts to more easily find and add them to your current and future Outlook Meeting invites.

    1. Once they are in your Outlook Contacts list, create your Skype meeting invite and click To... to add your invitees.

    2. In the Outlook Address Book, click the Address Book dropdown list (this should show "Global Address List" by default)

    3. Use the dropdown list's scrollbar to scroll to the bottom of the list of Address Books and select Contacts.

 Tips to successfully access a Skype for Business meeting

A Skype for Business Meeting can be entered as soon as the invitation is received.  The meeting organizer does not have to be present.  

Make sure to test your meeting access well before the meeting begins.

If the meeting will be accessed from a UWSP computer, or a work computer from an affiliated campus: *

  • From a work computer click Join Skype Meeting. If your invitee is already logged into Skype for Business, the web meeting will automatically open.

    If you experience problems accessing the meeting via Join Skype Meeting, use the Try Skype Web App link (see below).

    Note: open Skype for Business and sign in before clicking Join Skype MeetingSkype for Business is found on the Start menu or with a Windows Taskbar search for Skype for Business.


If the meeting will be accessed from a home computer or a computer which is not a UWSP or affiliated campus* machine:

  • Use the Try Skype Web App link. Especially if joining your meeting from work you may not have administrative access on your work machine to install the meeting app. 

To use the Try Skype Web App:

  1. Select the Try Skype Web App link in the Skype for Business Meeting Invitation.


  1. Enter the name you would like to display for the meeting.


  1. Click Join the meeting.

* members of our affiliated campuses and organizations can share Free/Busy Outlook calendar access to schedule meetings, and/or chat and video call via Skype for Business. 
For a list of our affiliated campuses and organizations visit our Email FAQs page. Select the FAQ, "Can I schedule calendar meetings and Skype calls with other campuses?"

 

 Can I see calendar free/busy information and schedule Skype video meetings with other campuses and organizations?

Yes, as long as they are members of our affiliated campuses and organizations you and they can share Free/Busy Outlook calendar access to schedule meetings, and/or chat and video call via Skype for Business. 

For a list of our affiliated campuses and organizations visit our Email FAQs page. Select the FAQ, "Can I schedule calendar meetings and Skype calls with other campuses?"

 Skyping With Off-Campus Colleagues

If your colleague has a paid consumer Microsoft account, or even a free Outlook.com or Skype account, you can invite them for regular chats and meetings just as you do your colleagues on-campus and at affiliated campuses by adding them to your Skype for Business Contacts List.

All you need to do is first set up the initial connection between your Skype for Business account and your colleague's personal consumer Microsoft/Skype account. Once you do this, you can then chat or video call with your colleague while they are working from home.

  1. Schedule a time for your colleague to be online with you and logged into their personal consumer Skype account at https://web.skype.com.

  2. Type your colleague's personal Skype account into your Skype for Business search box.

  3. Select Skype Directory.

  4. Right-click their name when it displays.  Mouse over Add to Contacts List and add them to a contact Group.

  5.  

  6. Click OK to the pop up box alerting you that your colleague must accept the contact request they received. Your colleague should now see you listed at the left of their Skype Web account.

  7. Ask your colleague to click the alert to the right of your name in their personal Skype. On the following screen, they should click to Accept your invitation.


Once you and your colleague have made this initial connection, both of you can initiate a Skype chat or video call.

 

More Ways to set up Skype for Business meetings

So now that we have covered the basics, here are a few more ways to quickly set up a Skype for Business meeting.

  • In a new Outlook Appointment or Meeting Invite, click Skype Meeting on the Appointment or Meeting tab.

  • From your Outlook Contacts, select an invitee or Ctrl+click to select multiple, then select Meeting from the Home tab. In the new meeting you created you can now click the Skype Meeting button.

  • In your Skype for Business Contacts list right-click a contact and select Schedule a Meeting. This opens an Outlook calendar Invitation with a Join Skype Meeting link.  Or select Start a Video Call if you are ready to meet right now.

    You can also Ctrl+click several Skype contacts, then right-click the selection to invite multiple contacts.

Remember, you must be signed into Skype for Business to create a Skype for Business meeting.

 

Beyond the Basics

 What is the difference between Skype and Skype for Business?

"Skype" and "Skype for Business" are very similar.  "Skype" is the commercial personal use application. "Skype for Business" is Enterprise software with Enterprise-level security.  Skype for Business is also integrated with Microsoft Outlook 365. For more information, see this Microsoft video about Skype For Business.

 Skype for Business Organizers, Presenters and Attendees

Meeting Organizers

A Skype for Business meeting Organizer is the person who schedules the meeting. There is only one meeting organizer. 

The meeting organizer displays in the list of participants as a Presenter and performs the same tasks as a presenter.  

In addition,

  • The meeting organizer manages all meeting settings.

  • The organizer can access all shared attachments including files uploaded by other presenters which have been hidden to all participants. They can also enable or remove participant access to any files shared in the meeting.

  • For more secure meetings, the organizer can elect to have all participants wait in the Lobby until she/he admits them to the meeting.

Presenters

Presenters have full control over the Skype for Business meeting with some limitations relative to the over-arching permissions granted the meeting organizer.  Presenters can share content and record the meeting. They can also mute participants, invite and remove people, and perform other management tasks.

Any presenter including the meeting organizer can demote other presenters to attendees, and attendees to presenters. 

Attendees

Attendees have no management capabilities within a Skype for Business meeting but can be promoted to Presenter by any presenter or the meeting organizer.

For small groups, setting all participants to presenter can facilitate collaboration. For a large group, setting all participants to attendees may minimize confusion and potential requests for assistance and trouble-shooting during the meeting.

Participant role upon entering a Skype for Business meeting

When you create a Skype for Business meeting through your Outlook calendar, participants who access the meeting through the Join Skype Meeting link enter as presenters.  Participants who enter from the Try Skype Web App link enter as attendees. 

If your intent is for all participants to enter the meeting as attendees, please see the topic below: "Why are my Skype for Business video conference participants joining as presenters?" 

If you would like to add a presenter(s) to help facilitate the meeting, see the topic: "How can I make someone a Presenter?"

 How do I add contacts to my Skype for Business Contacts list?

For information on adding Contacts to your Skype for Business Contacts list, visit Microsoft's support article, "Add a contact in Skype for Business".

 Why do I hear an echo and distortion in my audio?

Audio “Echo” is caused by your mic picking up sound that is coming from your speakers.  Your speaker sound is taken in by your microphone, fed back out your speakers, which in turn is picked up by your mic to be played through your speakers again. This creates an infinite loop which produces the “Echo” that can shout over anyone talking during your meeting.
The best defense against audio echo is a good head set. If you don’t have a headset, try to place your speakers away from your mic and turn down your speaker volume.
It’s also important to remember that while each participant may enter the meeting with their mic muted, you unmute your mic as soon as you talk.  Remind your participants to mute again when done speaking.

BTW – if everyone but you can hear the echo, check your set up.  The echo just might be coming from you.

SOMEONE is creating an echo - but who?
Look for unmuted microphones.  In your list of Participants each person displays a set of icons to the right of their name. If their microphone icon has a slash, this means that this participant has muted their microphone.  If no slash, the microphone is unmuted.  If you are a presenter and have an attendee who may have briefly stepped away from the meeting without muting their mic, you can test by right-clicking the participant’s name and selecting Mute from the short-cut menu.

 Why are my Skype for Business video conference participants joining as presenters?

By default, participants who access the meeting through the Join Skype Meeting link enter as presenters.  Participants who enter from the Try Skype Web App link enter as attendees.

If your intent is for participants to join as Attendees, you can change this setting even though some of your participants have already joined your meeting as presenters. You can then elevate only specific participants to presenter as needed.

To quickly change all participants to attendees, click Participant Actions.
Then select Everyone an Attendee.


You can also right-click their name and select Make Attendee from the short-cut menu.

 How can I make someone a Presenter?

To promote a participant to Presenter, right-click their name and select Make a Presenter from the short-cut menu.


 How do I mute/unmute my mic or show/hide my own video?

 

At the bottom of your Skype for Business video conferencing screen click the Microphone icon to mute/unmute your mic. Click the Camera icon to show/hide your video.


 Can I mute/unmute my participants?

Any Presenter can mute/unmute one or all participants.

To mute/unmute all Attendees at once, click Participant Actions and select Mute or Unmute Audience.



To mute an individual participant, right-click their name in the list of the participants and select Mute.

One use for this is that you may be testing to identify the source of the echo in your Skype session and the participant has stepped away from their computer.  After your quick test, you can then right-click and Unmute to re-enable audio.

 How do I share my desktop, files or even a PowerPoint?

At the bottom of your Skype for Business video conferencing screen click the Share Content (computer monitor) button.

Share Content displays the following:

  • Share your Desktop will display the contents of the presenter’s computer screen. If you have multiple monitors, Share your Desktop will first ask you to select the screen you want to share.

    To stop sharing your desktop, click Stop Sharing at the top of your Skype for Business video pane.

  • Share a Window will ask the presenter to choose from the applications open on their computer to display only that application to the audience.

    To stop sharing your application, click Stop Sharing at the top of your Skype for Business video pane.

  • Share PowerPoint Files allows you to upload a PowerPoint file to your Skype for Business meeting.

    To stop sharing your PowerPoint, click Stop Sharing at the top of your Skype for Business video pane.

    Note: PowerPoints can take some time to upload.

    To learn more see the section "Important information about sharing PowerPoint presentations" below.


  • Add Attachments allows you too browse your files to select a file to upload and share with your Skype for Business attendees.

  • Shared Notes and MyNotes displays a list of your OneNote Notebooks.

    To co-author Shared Notes, the OneNote Notebook or page should be located in your OneDrive cloud storage. Your participants also must be given permissions to view and edit.

    For more information about sharing and co-authoring notes or taking private notes during a Skype for Business meeting visit this Microsoft Support article.

  • Manage Content shows items which have been shared in the meeting. Presenters can also delete shared items and control permissions for who can download shared PowerPoints and attached files.

 Important information about sharing PowerPoint presentations

About PowerPoint animation and transitions
All animation and transitions are stripped out of uploaded slides.  To display animations and transitions to your attendees, consider using the Share a Window… option.

Upload your PowerPoint early
PowerPoints can take some time to upload.  You can upload your PowerPoint prior to your meeting then click Stop Sharing. You can even close your meeting and reopen it and your uploaded PowerPoint will remain in cue.

Show the PowerPoint when you are ready by going to the Share Content (computer monitor) button and select Manage Content.

For more information on presenting with PowerPoints uploaded to your Skype for Business meeting see this Microsoft support article.

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 Polling your attendees

Looking for a way to gauge attendee opinion or even make a quick group decision?

Try polling your participants.  This Microsoft support article makes it easy.

 Use the Skype for Business Whiteboard

Use the Skype for Business Whiteboard to diagram a process or decision tree or do other brainstorming activities in your meeting.  For more information, here's a good article from Microsoft.

 Can I record and then share my Skype meetings with participants who can't join us?

Absolutely. Skype for Business makes it easy for you to record your meetings.

For a quick "How to", here are some instructions from Microsoft.

Once you stop recording, your recording is converted to an mp4 file and saved by default to your local computer on your C drive under your profile folder.

When the recording finishes converting, a "Your recording is now available" pop up message will display.

Important: your recordings are saved by default to your local computer. To change you default Save location, see the following FAQ, "Can I change my default to save Skype recordings...".

To access your Skype for Business meeting recordings at anytime:

  • From the Skype for Business meeting screen click More Options and select Manage Recordings.

    or

  • From the Skype for Business desktop app, click Settings, then mouse over Tools and select Recording Manager.

In the Skype for Business Recording Manager that opens, you can click Publish to save your recording to a different location - for example, a OneDrive Sync Client folder to make sharing easy. Notice that you can also rename your recordings making them more easy to identify as your list grows.

 Can I change my default to save Skype recordings to my OneDrive to easily share with meeting participants?

Yes! That is the easiest way to share your recordings - simply save them to your OneDrive then change the sharing permissions on the recording and email your meeting participants the link.

It is important to remember that changing the default save location is for the computer you are on.  The default Save location for recordings is the local C Drive in the users/<your profile> folder.  If you are recording a meeting from a different computer and want the recording saved to your new folder, you can either change the default Save location (below) or use the Skype for Business Recording Manager to Publish that specific recording to the new location (see the above FAQ: "Can I record and then share my skype meetings...").

  1. First, in your OneDrive sync client, create a new folder for your meeting recordings. Remember, files and folders saved to your local sync client automatically sync to your OneDrive cloud storage.


  2. From your Skype for Business desktop app, click Settings, then mouse over Tools and select Options.

  3. In the Skype for Business  - Options box, select the Recording option. At the right, Browse... to the folder you created in your OneDrive sync client.

  4. Click OK.


  5. A 'Friendly reminder' pop up box will open saying that you are saving recordings to a public folder.  OneDrive IS NOT a public folder and has the same security as other UWSP Network storage locations housing moderate risk data.  Click Yes to this pop up.


Questions about moderate versus high risk data? Contact the Information Security Office.

 Help! My audio cuts out or doesn't work during Skype for Business meetings

Please contact the UWSP Service Desk if you are experiencing problems with your Skype for Business connectivity.

 

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Marshfield or Wausau employees

 If you are experiencing problems with your Skype for Business calls with the Stevens Point campus, FIRST - make sure that you are accessing these Skype for Business calls with your uwsp.edu account.

 Are there any resources to help me troubleshoot audio and video issues?

Yes. Microsoft has a number of troubleshooting suggestions in their documentation, Troubleshoot audio and video in Skype for Business.

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