Skype for Business whiteboard, poll or Q and A page

Posted in: IT Literacy

Hi again,

Since writing my last blog on using Skype for Business, and receiving a question on the subject on one of my training sessions, I’ve had a play with a few additional Skype for Business features that I’d like to share with you. These features are available if you’re in a video call, audio call or Instant Message conversation.

The three items are:

  1. Whiteboard
  2. Poll
  3. Q&A page

These items are all accessible through the Present button () – just click on the button and click on More to see the three options. Note: the Present button is greyed out/unavailable if you’re conversing with someone who’s not using Skype for Business.

If you select Whiteboard the whiteboard will appear on your screen and those of everyone who is included in the conversation:

Anyone can place items onto the whiteboard. By default, you can type text onto the whiteboard – just click where you want to place it and type (everyone will see your text as you type it). A tool bar to the right of the whiteboard enables you to do some other things, including:

  • Change the mouse pointer to a pen, so you can draw, try to write, etc. and change the ink colour (you could, for example, ask each contributor to use a different colour), if you wish,
  • Draw straight lines or a square/rectangle or circle/oval, again, setting a different colour before you draw it,
  • Select a highlighter to help you emphasise something,
  • Select a laser pointer to draw everyone else’s attention to what you’re talking about (can’t really see this working with an IM, but might be useful if you’re talking),
  • Save a copy of the whiteboard (click on the three dots, select Save As, then select where you want it and give it a name).

If you select Poll you will see this window:

Type in the question, type in each of the possible responses, or Choices.  Change the Poll name from Poll to something else, then click on Create to launch it into the conversation for everyone to make their selection. As choices are made, you will see percentages appear next to each option. You also get to close the poll when you want to.

If you select Q & A Instant Messaging gets switched off and everyone will see a window inviting them to type a question:

Anyone can ask a question, but only those who are presenters can answer questions (using an Answer option that appears under the question).

If you have had/do have a go at any of them, please add a comment to say how useful they are in the real world, any problems/limitations you encountered and any workarounds or fixes you’ve found.

Finally, if you work at the University of Bath and have not used Skype for Business (maybe you’re waiting for a web cam and headset), just have a go at sending an IM. If you're not sure how to do that, or want to know more, book onto a Skype course, it will be good to see you!!

Bye for now,


Posted in: IT Literacy

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  • Excellent post John. Really clear. I've been using Skype for Business for over a year now and when I encounter a colleague who doesn't use it, I feel quite restricted.