I recently spoke at the CIO Powerlist 2017 event which was attended by 100+ CIOs from India. Watch my session video – 27 min.
- Office 365 Secure Score
- File storage best practices
- Skype FB best practices
- Better teamwork using Office 365 Groups
- Chat based collaboration using Office 365 Teams
- Team Task management using Planner
- When NOT to send a mail (because there is a better option available)
- Amazing data cleanup using Power Query
- Excel Forecasting – new feature
- Automated animation using Morph in PowerPoint
- Summary Zoom in PowerPoint
We want Skype for Business (SFB) to work exactly like WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc. It should be available all the time and notify when someone wants to chat with me. The chats should continue. SFB on mobile keeps logging of periodically. Which makes it painful to wait every time you want to resume chat. The solution to keep SFB mobile always on is simple.
SFB Mobile always on : Change setting
Go to Settings and choose Keep running in background. That’s it.
Monitor this for a few days and check its impact on battery life. This is not necessarily a set and forget type of option. You may want it ON when you have good battery power and you are expecting lots of chats / meetings to happen.
If you have unreliable connection, low battery power, and are not expecting a busy day, turn off the setting.
While we are at it, here are some additional options you should think about.
Continue reading SFB mobile always on
In a meeting with large number of participants, there are few speakers. Questions and comments by the audience are typically typed in the chat window. Speakers take a pause periodically to view the chat and look for questions worth answering. There will be lot of people posting stuff. The question is, how do you Differentiate yourself in SFB meeting chat?Often good questions or comments are missed by the presenters due to time pressure.
Differentiate yourself in SFB meeting chat
Solution is simple. Right click in the chat textbox and choose Font… Choose Purple color and increase the font size to 12 (default is 10). Why purple, because blue is usually reserved for hyperlinks. Red is not a good choice. Any other color which stands out is fine. I have found purple to be the best on light blue background which is default shading.
Now your comments will be more prominent – visually.
Do not make the font size too big, otherwise it will appear very rude.
A simple but effective way to Differentiate yourself in a SFB meeting!
You can also use emoticons if relevant. But a person scanning the chat text will not take emoticons seriously – because many people use emoticons just because they like using them.
You can also use the exclamation mark to attract attention.
Now your text is shown with the High Priority icon. No need to change font color or size. This is a one-time toggle. For next use, you have to click the icon again before sending text. DO NOT overuse it. If you do, people will ignore all exclamations!
Try it out and let me know if it works. Of course, these are not the only ways of standing out in a crowded chat. I have thought of and used these techniques. I am sure you also have your own ideas. I would love to learn from you. Please post your methods in the comments section.
More Skype for Business stuff
- SFB Mute Mic :Meeting Etiquette
- SFB audio joke – “Can you hear me?”
- SFB Mute Mic :Meeting Etiquette
- SFB Etiquette: Do not talk when you join a meeting
Mail trails tend to grow longer and longer. SFB can help you Stop long mail trails. In fact it provides three different ways to achieve this. Unfortunately, hardly anybody noticed these features due to wrong naming of buttons. Read on to find out how. Reading time 5 minutes.
Continue reading Stop long mail trails using Skype for Business
SFB audio problems are common. In any meeting, irrespective of the technology or tool, we always spend time asking people “Can you hear me?”. Most of us do not realize how hilarious and funny this question is!
Those who cannot hear you can’t hear your question as well!
Here is how you can handle the SFB audio problem in a smart and speedy manner.
Continue reading SFB audio joke – “Can you hear me?”
Skype for Business meetings are quite common nowadays. These meetings can go on for a long time and have many participants. Everyone is not speaking at all times. Most people are on mute. But what about the person who is speaking? While speaking, suddenly, there is a noisy interruption – cough, sneeze, someone barging in and talking loudly, phone ringing, etc. Most participants are using headphones. Imagine being sneezed right into your ear. Excruciatingly disgusting. So here is a shortcut you must remember Windows key and F4. It works even when Skype for Business is not the current application. It works irrespective of which application you are currently in – typically PowerPoint, Excel or whatever else. Practice pressing Windows + F4 several times to make it into an instant reflex action. This will prevent you from torturing the participants with unexpected loud sounds.
This video has no commentary. 14 sec.
If you mute and unmute too often, are you not worried about others hearing this muting sound? Do not worry. Other’s cannot hear the muting sound. It is just for you to hear so that you are sure that the Mute shortcut worked. Unmuting does not have a sound associated with it. Sometimes you may unmute and not realize that the mic is on. Avoid such a situation. How? If in doubt press Windows + F4 agian. If you were on mute, no sound will come. If your mic was ON, you will hear the mute sound. Now decide what you want to do
Another practical use for Windows + F4 is answering while on mute. When you ask a question to someone who is on mute, you will notice a significant delay before the answer comes. Why is that? Because the muted person may not have SFB as the active application. Alternatively, that person is viewing your presentation in full screen mode. In either case the Mic mute / unmute button is not immediately accessible. The delay in response is due to that person struggling to find the unmute button! Now, using Windows + F4 you can reply instantly.
Yes. Just keep quiet. Listen to what is being said. Assess when is the right point of time when you can make others aware that you are a part of the meeting. At the most opportune moment, interject and introduce yourself and participate in the discussion. Simple SFB Etiquette. Follow it.
Do you know what happens usually? People join at different points of time in an online Skype for Business meeting. The person joining has no clue about what is being discussed before the point of joining. Unfortunately, most people in the world think that the entire audience is waiting for them to announce their grand presence. Which is rarely the case!
Join as usual. Listen for some time. Get the hang of what is being discussed. Most people who are already in the SFB meeting will notice that you are added to the participant list. Even if they don’t, just give yourself some time to understand the context. If you are lucky, some stupid people who have already joined will talk some secret or gossip thinking that you are not around… enjoy the moment. Finally, when the time is right, you talk and introduce yourself. That’s it. Try it and let me know if it works. If you are the host of SFB meetings frequently, it may be a good idea to educate your participants about it…. by adding one extra line in the invitation itself:
“When you join, your microphone is automatically muted. Even if it is not, mute it. Listen to what is being said and then introduce your presence at the right point of time.”
Here is a quick experiment. During a meeting, there are many ways of Presenting Content using SFB (Skype for Business). Most of us do not notice all the options. Those who do attempt to decipher the options may get confused.
In order to solve this problem, I am creating a visual content which shows when to use which feature. It is a reverse approach to education. Show the business need first and then point to the relevant option. I am creating this as an EduGraphic (Infographic for education).
Download Presenting Content using SFB EduGrahic
Download it, print it and share it.
Did you like this approach? Will it simplify learning and promote effective usage?
Do let me know the feedback.
Skype for Business is the instant communication app bundled with Office 365. Most of the SFB Use Cases are about immediate or urgent work (although there are some exceptions). In this article, I am just going to enlist all the use cases I could think of. I will update this article as I learn and observe more use cases. I will also write detailed articles about specific use cases soon.
Continue reading Skype for Business: SFB Use Cases
This is just a quick best practice. I learnt it while conducting a webinar on Thursday using Skype for Business (SFB). During webinars, you have two options, just show a presentation and explain it or demonstrate something on your screen – typically some software product. Screen sharing is used to broadcast your desktop.
Often, I need some live input from the audience. For example, what is their profile? Which product / feature is more important for them? Have they understood the topic or not?
Continue reading Pause Screen Sharing while creating Polls in SFB