Handy Tips for Managing a virtual meeting in Microsoft Teams

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30 March, 2020

As working from home becomes the norm. We look at how to use Microsoft Teams to conduct a virtual meeting successfully. To help here are some of our technical team’s favourite tips to get you started with Teams and to ensure your virtual meeting carries on without any hitches.

1.      Schedule your virtual meeting

This might seem obvious but when it comes to setting up your meeting you need to consider those you are inviting and whether they are from your organisation or not. If there not, then take advantage of the Anonymous Join feature which enables you to invite someone from outside your organisation. Simply enter your guest(s) email address(es) and each guest will receive an email with details on how to join the meeting. Included in the email is a link which your guest(s) will need to click on in order to join the meeting. What’s also great is that a software download is not always a requirement. However, you will, if you need to necessitate a screen sharing with your guest(s). In which case they should install Teams desktop client and join anonymously.

2.      Team Meeting Roles

As with any meeting you need to define the roles if it is to be successful. When you set up a meeting in Teams you become the designated Organiser, the internal attendees are the Presenters and the external attendees are essentially the guests. Presenters have several privileged roles such as admitting guests into the meeting from the lobby, content sharing during a meeting and to start and stop meeting recording. If you are holding a meeting with a large audience limit the number of presenters. Of course, roles can be change quickly and easily via the meeting controls, find the name of the person who want to make a Presenter and select the option ‘Make a presenter’.

3.      Secure your desktop

Yes, your desktop might be cluttered but there may also be sensitive information that you don’t want others to see. Use Application Sharing in Teams to share a specific window rather than your whole screen. This ensures your meeting guests only see what you want them to see. You could try using the blur tool which allows you to blur your background and keeps your desktop content safe.

4.      Join a virtual meeting via phone

Sometimes a video conference isn’t possible. If you or someone else are unable to make a virtual meeting, then Teams’ solution is Audio Conferencing. It allows users to join a meeting from their location, wherever it might be from their phone. Once Audio Conferencing is enabled for the meeting, users are provided with dial-in instructions.

5.      Join a virtual meeting via web browser

Ever had to join a meeting last minute? If you have then you know how precious time is. If haven’t installed the Teams desktop app then access your meeting via a web browser. It’s quick and easy. Sign into your Teams account in your chosen browser and enjoy a web-based experience. However, it is worth considering which browser you use as each will give you a different experience. Edge allows you to access a meeting via audio, video and screenshare, whereas Chrome only provides support for audio meetings and incoming screen share. Although support for video in Chrome isn’t that far off.

6.      Start and End the call or meeting

Again, it might sound obvious but to start or join a call or meeting you need to click on the green button. Of course, don’t forget to end the call or leave the meeting! Simply click on the red button to hang up. Otherwise you might regret it.

7.      Provide a Welcome

To encourage your virtual meeting guests to be on time. Whether they are part of your organisation or not, Teams’ Virtual Lobby provides your guests with a waiting area. Giving you and your colleagues the opportunity to review any key points for the meeting before admitting your guests in. Select who can let your guests into the meeting from the lobby by managing participant settings.

8.      Put a stop to meeting disruptions

If you are holding a meeting for more than 50 guests, then you will want to minimise any disruptions. Firstly, Teams will mute each new attendee that joins after the meeting starts. Secondly the meeting organiser can mute individual attendees or everyone on the attendees list. However, users can unmute themselves if they have something to say to the all the attendees.

9.      Unable to attend a virtual meeting

Why not record your virtual meeting? You can record Video, Audio and any shared screen activities from a Teams meeting. Have your meeting recordings automatically saved to Microsoft Stream where you can easily download. Not only does this allow you to review the content but to share it with absent attendees or share content like corporate news or training demos with the rest of your organisation. Recording your meeting couldn’t be simpler – click on the ellipse (the 3 dots) and then select ‘Start Recording’ and to stop, select ‘Stop Recording’. During your virtual meeting only the organiser or internal attendee can stop the recording but not external attendees.

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