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Getting started with Skype Video

This guide helps charities get set up to make Skype video calls. Connect with a team, service users or partners.

Getting started with Skype Video. A practical the Small Charities Coalition and Catalyst.

Skype is a free (plus paid-for options) video conferencing tool that can be used on PCs, Macs and mobile devices.

It can be used it for 1:1 meetings, team meetings and video meetings with people outside of your organisation.

It takes about 10 minutes to get set up. Here, we’ll just look at getting signed up and started.

Steps to get set up

Step 1 — Download Skype

Head over to Skype. You can choose to download Skype for Desktop, or for Mobile depending on which device you’re on (this example gives instructions for the Desktop version).

Select the type of computer you have (Mac, Windows, or Linux) and click on the ‘Get Skype’ button.

It takes a couple of minutes to download.

Step 2 — Install Skype to your computer (for Windows)

For computers with Windows, go to your Downloads folder and double click on the Skype logo to install. Follow the instructions on your screen.

Search for Skype in your Windows search bar and double click to open up Skype.

Skip to Step 3.

Drag and drop the Skype logo into your Applications folder.

Step 2 — Install Skype to your computer (for Mac)

For Mac computers, go to your Downloads folder and double click on the Skype logo to install. Follow the instructions.

Drag and drop the Skype logo into your Applications folder.

Find the Slack logo in the Applications folder and open Skype up.

This is the screen to set up a new Skype account.

Step 3 — Create a Skype account

Once you’ve got Skype open on your computer, you can create a new account by clicking ‘Create one!’.

You can choose to sign up using your email address or your phone number — it’s up to you which you use.

Follow the instructions and finish creating your account.

Steps to host a meeting

There are two ways to host a call on Skype:

  1. Meet Now: With Meet Now calls you can send out a link to attendees via email and they can join without a Skype account and without downloading Skype to their machines.
  2. Video and voice calls with contacts: you can hold a video or voice call with anyone who has a Skype account, once they’ve accepted you as a contact.

1. Meet Now

Clicking ‘Meet Now’ opens a new screen

Step 1 — Start a Meet Now call

In the top left corner of your Skype, click on the ‘Meet Now’ button.

It will open a new screen.

From this screen you can share the video call details and start the call

Step 2 — Send the link to attendees

Click on ‘Share invite’ to get the details for your attendees to be able to join the video call.

When you’re ready, click ‘Start call’ to begin you call. Make sure the video button is toggled so attendees can see you.

This is what your attendees will see when they click on the link

Step 3 — Your attendees join the call

Your attendees will see this screen when they click on the link you send them — they can choose to join as a guest, or create a Skype account.

2. Video and voice calls with contacts

Type in the search bar to find contacts or friends

Step 1 — Find people

If the people you want to have a meeting with already have a Skype account, you can find them using their Skype name, phone number or email address.

In Skype, search for your meeting attendees.

Step 2— Connect with people

You’ll need to click ‘Say hi’ at people to connect.

If they accept, you’ll become Skype contacts and you’re ready to make a call!

Step 3— Make a call

Click on the contact you want to talk to and select the video icon to start a video call.

Skype call buttons

Alternatively you can have an online voice call with no video (middle button).

The right icon is to add another attendee to the call (you’ll need to have them as a contact already to do this).

Steps to joining a meeting

If you don’t have Skype installed on your computer

If you don’t have Skype, you can join meetings using a link. Meeting hosts will need to set up a ‘Meet Now’ (more information above) and send you the link to join. When you click on the link, select the ‘Join as guest’ option, and follow the instructions to join the call.

If you’d like to download Skype for future calls, you can follow the instructions in ‘Steps to get set up’ above.

If you have Skype installed on your computer

Step 1— Sign in to Skype

To accept calls you need to be signed in to Skype on your computer.

If you don’t have Skype you can follow the instructions in ‘Steps to get set up’ above.

Step 2— Choose the type of call you’d like

When someone calls you on Skype, you have three options:

  1. Video call (left icon)
  2. Voice call (middle icon)
  3. Hang up (right icon)
These three options appear on your screen when someone calls you on Skype

You can also add more people to a call using the icon underneath.

About this guide

This guide has been contributed to Catalyst. It was created by CAST in partnership with Small Charities Coalition.

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UK collaborative to bring a social purpose to the digital revolution. From CAST, City Bridge Trust, Comic Relief, DCMS, Esmée Fairbairn, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund.

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Tori Ellaway

Tori Ellaway

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