Meetings. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re still a necessary part of office life, even in the modern workplace. However, the tools we use to host and attend meetings can have a big impact on the experience, both positive and negative. The meeting tool-of-choice in Office 365 today is Microsoft Teams – a fantastic tool to enhance the meeting experience in several ways. This post will cover the basic components of Microsoft Teams to organize and participate in a Teams meeting. If you’re a Microsoft Teams newbie, these features are a great place to start!
This is a joint post with a friend and co-worker of mine, Ali Fadavinia. Ali and I work together on a large team rolling out Office 365 capabilities, including Microsoft Teams, to an organization.
In the past, many of you have used Skype for Business (SfB) for meetings by including a virtual link to your Outlook meeting invitations. You can do the same with Microsoft Teams!
What actions should be taken to see “New Teams Meeting” in your Outlook ribbon? You will need to install the Teams Desktop client and, once installed, Outlook will automatically show the new icon on the ribbon.
While the resulting interface is restricted for the attendee on the web (they cannot share camera or screen), they can view other attendees’ shared screens. This is a really good way to have a conference call in Teams….without all attendees being in Teams!
If the guests have Microsoft accounts, they can either use the web link as above or, if they click the ‘Open Microsoft Teams’ option and sign in to their Microsoft account, they can launch the Microsoft Teams client to get a richer user experience within the Teams meeting. This will include:
You can also have a dial-in conference option so attendees can join the Microsoft Teams meeting from any device, anywhere. This requires Audio Conferencing which comes with an Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription or on a pay-per-minute basis as an add-on to Office 365 E1 or E3. Where Audio Conferencing has been enabled by an Admin, users will automatically see the dial-in options for Microsoft Teams’ meetings.
Why not record your meetings in Microsoft Teams? You can record Video, Audio, and shared screen activities for your Teams meeting. The recording is automatically saved to Microsoft Stream so later you can download, manage or even share it with your organization.
What’s the benefit? You have a record of what was discussed in the meeting to review and/or share with absent attendees. Also, the recording can later be used for other business use-cases in your organization such as: new product announcements, corporate news, training demos, etc.
As the organizer, once clicked, you will be notified the meeting is being recorded in a message at the top of the meeting. To stop recording, go to the meeting controls on the ellipsis “…” and click “stop recording” from the same menu.
If you work in a busy or open cubicle environment, this is a useful feature for meeting and video calls. Sometimes you may have confidential information on your walls, you may be on your commute, or you may be working from home or a coffee shop with lots of visual distraction in the background. The background blur feature cleverly blurs the surroundings behind you while leaving you clear and un-blurred.