How many times have you been in a conference call and thought, “Gee-hmm, I wonder how my manager is reacting to this?”  Or, “Does my colleague really mean what he says?”

Well, now there’s a solution for that!  The Lync 2013 client gives you a “big picture” view of your conference, so you can feel like you’re in the middle of the action—all from the comfort of your desk.

 

Give me what I need to look good in this conference

Before you start your own video in the conference, if you’re wondering how your hair and outfit looks today, the new “Video Preview” will be honest with you.  Just hover over the video icon to check yourself out, and then click on “Start My Video” to turn it on. 

If you need to multitask or eat lunch at your desk during this conference, you can turn off your video at any time by clicking on the video icon.

Show me what everyone is doing

The new conferencing layout features up to five active speakers’ video streams at the same time, so you can observe each person’s reaction during the meeting (and keep an eye on your own).  If their video isn’t available, we’ll show a picture instead:

You can tell who is actively speaking by looking for the blue bar below each user’s tile.  You can also see who might be muted or on hold by looking for the icons in the upper left-hand corner of each person’s picture:

The conferencing window also gives you the ability to pop out the gallery, so you have more choices for how you’d like to view the conference:

Help me understand the flow of the meeting and keep track of people’s reactions

As people more actively participate in the conference, they will move from a sitting row to a standing row, so you can focus on what they’re saying. 

Or, if you are especially interested in certain people’s reactions, you can pin those folks to the standing row.  One quick and easy way to do this is to hover over their tile and click on the “Pin to Gallery” icon. 

To unpin, simply click on the “Pin” icon again.

Give me multiple ways of seeing who is in the conference

Each person’s video will be automatically cropped to show them in their best light possible.  If two colleagues are in the same conference, Lync will show both of them:

Additionally, if you have a Roundtable device connected, you can also see a nice panoramic view of what’s happening in the entire conference room:

Provide me with all the tools I need to make the conference run smoothly

If you’re a conference presenter and you’d like to make sure that someone has the video spotlight in the entire conference, you can lock their video by right-clicking on the person tile, and selecting “Lock the Video Spotlight”.

 

And unlock by right-clicking on the same person tile:

Additionally, if you’re a presenter, you can ensure that only presenters, and not attendees, can share their video.  Hover over the People icon and go to the “Actions” tab, where you can choose “No Attendee Video”.

With these video gallery features, Lync 2013 aims to bring a richer, more interactive people-centric experience to conferences.  If you have any feedback on this experience, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Recommended resource: 
What’s New In Lync 2013

 

Yan Zhong

Program Manager, Lync Team