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Start Conversations and Collaborate in Channels

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Decide where to have different types of conversations.
  • Find, join, and start conversations.
  • Work quickly with teammates using mentions and reactions.
  • Share files with the team.
  • Improve the readability of your messages.


If you'd like to listen to an audio recording of this unit, please use the player below. When you’re finished listening to this recording, remember to come back to the unit, check out the resources, and complete the quiz.

What Is Slack?

Slack is a messaging app for business, and so much more. It’s your company’s home for everyone and everything—your productivity platform. 

Watch the video to learn more.

Find and Access Conversations

In Slack, conversations happen in channels and direct messages (DMs). Channels are spaces where you can work with your coworkers on specific topics. DMs work well for one-off conversations that don't require an entire channel to weigh in. Watch the video to learn more.


Conversations in channels are transparent and accessible to people in your company. If you want to stay up to date with a specific team, you can find and join their channel and scroll up to see past messages.

  1. Hover over More.
  2. Hover over Your organization.
  3. Click Channels.
  4. Browse the list of public channels in your workspace, or use the search bar to search by channel name or description.
  5. Select a channel from the list to view it.

Click Join Channel.


DMs are for smaller conversations outside of channels, like if you wanted to ask a teammate to reschedule a 1:1 meeting.

A list of all direct messages in All DMs view

Start a Conversation

Start a conversation with the right people by sending a message in a channel or a DM.

Say you have a question about a project. Send a message to the dedicated project channel to get an answer from the right people. If your question is only for a specific teammate, you can send them a DM.

writing a new message from the compose button in Slack

Work in Channels

In Slack, communication with your team about specific topics takes place in channels. When you work in channels, use mentions to get the attention of the right people, and emoji reactions to simplify communication.

Mention a Teammate

If you have a question for a specific teammate, you can mention them in a channel to get their attention. They’ll receive a notification and the rest of the team can follow along for context.

a mention included in a message in a Slack conversation

In a channel, use the @ symbol to mention a teammate when asking them a question.

Add an Emoji Reaction

Use emoji reactions to simplify communication and acknowledge messages with a few clicks. To choose an emoji, click the Emoji button in the message field to open the menu. Watch the video to learn more.

Share Files

You can add files to any conversation to collaborate with your teammates more easily. Say you need to share a file with project info. By adding it to the channel dedicated to that project, the file and the messages about it stay together with the rest of the conversation.

uploading a file to Slack from the message field

  1. Drag and drop files into the message field.
  2. Include a message about the files if you’d like.
  3. Send the message.

Communicate Clearly

To add clarity to communication in Slack, you can format and edit your messages.

Format Messages

Say you’re providing feedback about a document. To make it easier to scan for the team, add list formatting to your message.

formatting a message using the toolbar in the message field

Edit or Delete Messages

Did you make a mistake in a message you’ve already sent? Hover over your message and click the More button (three vertical dots) More icon to open the contextual menu and edit your message to fix typos, or delete it to start over.

editing a sent message in a Slack conversation

Now you should feel more comfortable about participating in conversations and connecting with the right people to move work forward in channels. Next you learn about finding the information you need in Slack.


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