[UPDATE March 2020] All screen prints and instructions have been updated and validated as of March 20, 2020.
If you’re new to Microsoft Teams and need to get up-to-speed quickly on how to organize and participate in a Teams meeting, this post provides 5 things to start with.
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 covers 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 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.
Ali’s technical background is Network and Computer Software Engineering. He enjoys working with cutting-edge technologies and implementing them across infrastructures and organizations. He works with the Office 365 suite of products such as Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business in his daily work environment.
You can reach out to Ali via LinkedIn.
Let’s dive in…
Setting up a Teams Meeting
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.
As was done for SfB, this will add a Teams Meeting link at the bottom of your meeting invitation body so when the time comes, meeting attendees can join with the provided link:
Meeting with External Attendees
One of the really neat things about running a Teams meeting is anyone with an email address, both inside and outside your organisation, can take part! Here are the 3 main types of external attendees:
External Attendee 1: A user with no Microsoft Account (any email address)
Anyone with an email address and internet connection can access the call via the browser, simply by clicking the ‘Join on the web instead’ button (or dialing the dial-in number if you have that configured – refer to External Attendee 3 option below):
This is what an external attendee will receive (this example is a gmail account):
As the meeting organizer, you will be prompted to allow external people in from the lobby.
External attendees can share their own desktop or app (this is dependent on the browser they’re using – refer to ‘Sharing content with other Attendees’ section below for more detail) making this an excellent way to have a conference call in Teams….without all attendees being in Teams!
External Attendee 2: A user with any Office 365 Account, as a Guest User
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.
External Attendee 3: Anyone with a phone to dial in and join
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 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 added to each Teams meeting invitation (blurred in image). This is a great option if you anticipate some attendees to have low band-width.
Recording your Teams Meeting
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.
How do we record our meeting in Microsoft Teams? Both the meeting organizer and internal attendees can start or stop the recording. External attendees will not be able to do this.
- Start or join the meeting
- Click on the ellipse “…”and then select “Start Recording” as shown below:
As the organizer, you will be notified you’re being recorded and will be given a reminder to tell your meeting attendees they are being recorded:
This is what the meeting attendees will see:
To stop recording, go to the meeting controls on the ellipsis “…” and click “stop recording” from the same menu.
How do you replay a meeting in Microsoft Teams? Both the meeting organizer and all internal attendees can replay a recorded meeting.
Note: external guests CANNOT replay a recorded meeting.
To do this, you will go to either the Channel conversation history in Teams if the meeting was created in a Teams channel OR the chat history in Teams if the meeting was created outside of a Teams channel (directly from Outlook or a Group chat). Find the video recording for the meeting, and click “Play” to automatically play the meeting recording thru Microsoft Stream.
Further details on how to record a meeting in Teams can be found here.
Blurring your Background
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.
To activate Background Blur for yourself during meetings, click on the ellipsis “…”on the call menu and select “Blur my background”.
Sharing Content with other Attendees
If you want to share any content during the meeting (your desktop, a presentation, a document, etc.), you can do this by following these steps:
You will receive a prompt to share your desktop or any of your open applications individually. The options you see depend on if you are using the Microsoft Teams client or the web app (see ‘Good to know’ section below). You can also share a Microsoft Whiteboard which is a great option for group collaboration on a virtual whiteboard. If you don’t see what you want in the options shown to you, you can browse to find your content to share. If you need to include system audio (For example, sharing a youtube video with your attendees), make sure you check the ‘Include system audio’ checkbox:
Note: If you have multiple monitors and you share your desktop, a red border will surround the monitor’s desktop being shared with attendees.
To stop sharing, click the Stop sharing icon:
Good to know…
- In the Teams client application, both desktop sharing and application sharing is available.
- If you share your desktop, your entire screen will be displayed. If you share one of your open applications (e.g. PowerPoint, Word), it will be the only one displayed. The screen/application being shared will be surrounded by a red border.
- If you join via a web browser, the sharing options available to you will vary depending on the browser being used. As of March 2020:
- Chrome: can share desktop/window, apps, and whiteboard
- Chromium-based Edge: can share desktop/window, apps, and whiteboard
- Edge: can share apps and whiteboard (no desktop/window)
Ending the call
Last, but not least… to end/leave a meeting, simply click the big red button to hang up!
Extras based on feedback
Limit of 4 people shown in Teams meeting UI: As of March 2020, you will only see the active video for the last 4 people that have spoken in the chat/meeting. Increasing this is on the product roadmap for Teams. If you want to vote on the Uservoice, here’s the link: Show all people in Teams Meeting
There’s lots more to learn about Microsoft Teams and meetings is only one part of what it does. Hopefully you found this post helpful to get you comfortable organizing and joining a Team meeting.
Thanks for reading!
Ali and JCK