How does one get started? Once started, how does one super-charge Skype for maximum productivity? Here are seven steps.
1. Download Skype for free.
Click Get Skype to find the latest version of the software for your computer. Start with the free download. (You can always upgrade to Skype Premium or Skype Business later, paying by subscription or else purchasing Skype credit.)
2. Set up your Skype profile.
Launch the Skype software and follow the basic set up information.
Once Skype is running, go to the menu bar and select Skype / Profile / Edit Your Profile. Here you can revise your Full Name to be, for example, John Doe rather than john.doe.123456. You also can control which information is visible to the public, to your contacts, or to yourself only.
Select Tools / Options to configure Skype. Then select Video Settings to take your portrait and add it to your profile. Select Privacy to determine what to share with others. Browse the other settings to consider other ways to customize your Skype configuration.
4. Find others on Skype.
Use the search box in your contacts list to find other Skype users, or select Contacts / Import to let Skype identify other users from your email account.
5. Make a call.
Start with a test call by selecting Echo / Sound Test Services from your contact box. Then click Call. To troubleshoot your audio and video settings, go to the top menu bar and select Call / Learn about Call Quality.
To call someone, select that person’s name in your contact box and click Video Call. To conference with multiple people, you can:
- Click Create Group at the bottom of your contact box and then click Add People. Be sure to click Save Group in Contacts. Then you can call all group members at once by simply selecting the group name in your contact box and clicking Call Group for free audio conferencing, or clicking Video Call for paid video conferencing.
- You also can add one person at a time by calling a single person and then clicking Add to Call each time you want to bring an additional person into the conference.
6. Record your important Skype conversations.
Visit http://voipcallrecording.com/ to download the latest version of MP3 Skype Recorder. This free software package can save your Skpe conversations in stereo MP3 files.
7. Edit the audio recordings of your Skype conversations for archiving or podcasting.
Visit http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ to download the latest version of Audacity Sound Editor, another free software package. Select File / Import to load the MP3 recording of your Skype conversation into Audacity. Consult the online manual to learn how to reduce background noise, amplify sound, edit soundtracks, and export the results into a new MP3 file.
If your pro-life organization would like to include me in a video conference to brainstorm about the use of social media for life-affirming communications, contact me.