Top 3 tips for anyone using Microsoft Lync to attend online meetings

I’m using Microsoft’s Lync Online (from Office 365) daily. Hourly, even. I have all my colleagues as contacts as well as most of my customers, partner companies and people I know – if they’ve decided to use Lync and if they are happy to federate openly with other companies. Not everyone is doing this but most Finnish companies I work with, it’s not a problem.

Here are my top 3 tips for anyone using Lync to attend online meetings:

1. Use mute liberally

imageThere’s a mute-button for a reason. If you are not the one presenting or attending a heated argument over Lync, just stay on mute. It takes you a second to unmute, and nobody needs to hear you type emails, which you evidently will be doing if you are not talking.

2. If you invite others, tell them why

It’s so easy to invite others to your important meeting. Is it important to everyone else? Possibly but not necessarily. Take the courtesy to tell why you need others to spend 90 minutes in your online meeting. Some people might decide that the meeting is not for them – they don’t want to spend 1,5 hours doing something is not worth their time. And that’s fine.

For some reason, especially with Lync and Outlook, most people just send the invitation URL and nothing else. I often reply with a “What’s the agenda for this meeting, and the desired outcome?” to see if there’s a reason for me to attend.

3. Set up your stuff before the meeting

I might be a bit impatient here but it will grow in you when you witness – for the fifth time during the same week – someone wondering about a missing password or a missing slide deck they were supposed to present for an audience of 15 people. It’s impolite for others, but besides that it’s a huge waste of time.

Take the two minutes to set up your demo gear and other stuff before the meeting.

I think this is the equivalent of connecting your laptop to a projector before your talk. Make sure it works before your audience arrives!

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