How do you run your skill challanges?

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I run skill challanges like Rodrigo, the DM from the Critical Hit podcast, where he alows all skills in every challange, but you can not use the same skill twice or the skill the pc before you just used. The players make up what they want to do, using whatever skill that fits and that the dm allows.
It is a fun way to take the narrative and improvise and be creative. It is also a very useful tool to use in a sandbox-style campaign where challanges may pop up where you didn`t expect them.

Does anyone have any other smart and creative methods of running skill challanges or how to do them on te fly?

Any good suggestions for standard successes or failures, like temperary hp or an extra action point or a floating +2 on a d20 roll for success or loosing healing surges, taking damage if it is a combat like challange,  loosing an action point or in special cases, loosing an item..

Any suggestions on what (improvised?) skill challanges may be used for? Like traveling or training montages, bar brawls or special combat situations like underwater or aerial, tactical warfare or other kinds of combat where you fight massive numbers of creatures(getting past a throng of zombies), long and intricate rituals, potion making... Whatever! I feel it can be used for everything!

Do you use the structure as written or do you adjust it for the number of players or for other reasons? 
I check the structure of the skill challenge. If I don't like it, I rewrite it or chuck it.
Or I convert it to pure RP.

I usually keep the skill challenges to things that are appropriate to the situation. But if a player can convince me why endurance is appropriate in a diplomatic conference ("If I have to listed to one more hour of these blow-hards flapping their gums saying nothing in 40,000 words..."*), sure, I'll allow it.

*--don't laugh, that was exactly what the last city council meeting I went to was like. 2 hours spent discussing side issues that weren't even part of the question before the council.
I love skill challenges.

I run them exactly as written in the DMG, which states that any skill can be used, though the DM should consider limiting its use to one success, or requiring a Hard DC for it. Most of the ideas people have for making skill challenges "better" are already in the book.

Standard failure is the same as standard success, but with a twist. They reach the destination, but not quite in time. They obtain the artifact, but lose the thief. They are given the help they requested, but it's got some hitches.

Skill challenges can be used for anything, but they should only be used when both failure and success are interesting and keep things moving along, and when there's some kind of external pressure. They're iffy for travel, unless failure it really compelling, though they can be very good for establishing some flavor for the area, such as with the peculiarities of Athas. I've seen them used well for large battle scenes.

The exact structure isn't important, but the basic ingredients (set numbers of successes and failures, set DCs, definitely applicable skills, definite rewards, and the "interesting failure" approach) answer decades of questions that were asked about skill-based obstacles.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

The only thing unusual I do with skill challenges is that I never tell the players when one has started.  I have had games where the PCs were in a skill challenge from start to finish and were utterly unaware of it.
Depends on the situation really.

Group skill challenges I run like the "Docking under pressure" scene in SPEC 4-5 "Rising Darkness" (Found here: www.livingforgottenrealms.com/#gencon201...).

Single skill challenges I tend to run more narratively and generally only go until either we roll 10 times or they have 2-3 more successes.

Here is an example of me running an individual skill challenge in one of my games:
Toy vs. a Guard.
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