By Wayne Turmel

Portrait of woman with headset in front of laptopWhether you’re using Skype for Business, or Microsoft Lync (and they’re the same darned thing, just different versions depending on your license), you’re probably not using all the available features. In fact, 80% of users take advantage of fewer than 20% of its features.

Here are three features of Lync/Skype4Business that you’re probably not utilizing to the fullest:

  • Attachments (it looks like a little paperclip on your dashboard). This is the equivalent of a file transfer in WebEx or “files to download” in Adobe Connect. I love this feature because you can easily pre-load documents that you want the team to access and save for themselves without sending them by email. It saves you going out to your email to send documents (and them going to get them, never to return), plus you can control when people access them so they’re not reading ahead and ignoring what’s going on in the meeting. Just like in a regular face-to-face meeting, you can manage when people get the handouts.
  • Integration with the rest of your Microsoft tools. It’s amazing how many people use Lync only for instant messaging. Because it works seamlessly (well, as seamlessly as software ever works) with the rest of your Microsoft products, it is easy to use tools like Outlook, OneNote, Sharepoint and more.
  • The Whiteboard. Oh how I love the whiteboard in Lync. Of course it works like the whiteboard in other tools: you can generate discussion, capture action items, allow others to write on it, and have as many of them as possible. Other tools, including WebEx and Adobe, have those features as well. What makes the tool truly collaborative and helpful is the ability to edit and rearrange text (it appears in little boxes that are easily manipulated, and you can cut and paste images, text and more right into the whiteboard. It also easily saves, prints and sends the whiteboard image, making it a valuable tool for teams that brainstorm and need full engagement and participation from their folks, no matter where they are in the world.

As always, the Remote Leadership Institute doesn’t have a dog in the technology fight. We don’t care what tools you use, as long as you use what you have effectively.

You can learn more about Lync by taking our Lync For Leaders public Virtual Instructor Led (VILT) workshop, or bringing it in-house to your organization.

About the author:

rsz_wayne_turmel-2Wayne Turmel is the founder and president of, and the co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute. For 20 years he’s been obsessed with helping managers communicate more effectively with their teams, bosses and customers. Wayne is the author of several books that demystify communicating through technology including Meet Like You Mean It- a Leader’s Guide to Painless & Productive Virtual Meetings, 10 Steps to Successful Virtual Presentations and 6 Weeks to a Great Webinar. His work appears frequently in Marshall Goldsmith calls him “one of the unique voices to listen to in the virtual workplace”. Follow him on Twitter at @greatwebmeeting!

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