Microsoft

5 Ways to Improve Your Microsoft Teams Meetings

With 75 million actively daily users now leveraging Microsoft Teams for remote work, virtual learning and so much more, it’s time to ask if you’re getting the most out of Teams functionality.

Here are five ways you can leverage existing Teams technology to improve your Teams Meetings experience:

1. Meeting Agenda

Microsoft - The Essential Guide to Microsoft Teams End-User Engagement
The Essential Guide to Microsoft Teams End-User Engagement

We take you through 10 best practices, considerations, and suggestions that can enrich your Microsoft Teams deployment and ensure both end-user adoption and engagement.

Get the Guide

The best meetings are the ones where you know why you’re meeting, so you can quickly get focused and knock out whatever it is that you’re supposed to be talking about. It’s totally ok to use the first few minutes to catch up and ensure the key people in the meeting are in attendance. You’re even more likely to have a successful meeting if people are aware and can follow along with an agenda. The agenda can be sent as part of the meeting invite, which is preferable. It can also be shared on-screen with OneNote or the Team wiki the team the team has access to and which enables you to capture the team’s united agenda, or can be used for a meeting with a broader group agenda. Using a task list for action items is a must. The key to this is make sure everyone has a copy of what was discussed as the meeting is adjourned. For reoccurring meetingsm the agenda and discussion topics are even more important for consistency in a Team whether in a tab or a OneNote.

2. Microsoft Whiteboard

In this age of virtual meetings, the physical whiteboards are out of reach. Luckily, Teams includes whiteboard functionality. You can include a link to the whiteboard for the meeting, which also supports the ability for sticky notes, action items, and checklists. It also includes some very clever tables, charts, and task lists. The whiteboard templates are a great way to get consistency to your brainstorming, mind-mapping or decision-tree sessions.

3. Recording

With enhancements to meetings for things like search, speaker recognition, and speech-to-text, there are a dozen reasons why recording a meeting is a great habit. The archive can be a treasure trove and help missing meeting participants catch up. The integration between Stream and Teams is only getting better. It really takes very little effort to ensure the meeting minutes are backed by the meeting, fronted by rich search. Believe me, this is only going to get better. As a privacy best practice, remember to let participants know you’re starting the recording and that the meeting will be recorded.

4. Mute all & Controlling Sound

Muting is important, whether you are participating in large meetings or small. It’s courteous for participants to be on mute unless they are talking. This isn’t something that was commonplace in the past. But muting has gotten better with time. Plus, expectations are even higher these days for smooth meetings with less interruptions so many of us are jumping from online meeting to online meeting.

5. Video Backgrounds

It’s a great idea to leverage background blur. Better yet, consider providing employees with company background options featuring office locations, or options that leverage the company logo. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build internal branding and culture. What’s more, with all the online meetings these days, blending out the background can help with focus and privacy. The more people leverage custom backgrounds, the more likely others will do the same. “Together mode,” a new meetings feature, can bring all video participants into a single classroom style view, which makes it easier to pick up non-verbal queues from all participants. The scale is much greater, and the background is removed automatically.

About the Author

Joel Oleson is recognized as one of the world’s most connected Microsoft Community leaders. He is well traveled speaking and visiting communities in over 100 countries. He has been awarded Microsoft's highest recognition as Office Apps & Services MVP, Microsoft Regional Director awards, and multiple "Ship It" awards for Office and SharePoint from his time at Microsoft. Joel was the first dedicated SharePoint Admin and Architect for SharePoint Online. Joel is Director at Perficient in the Microsoft National Practice. Visit his technical blog at https://collabshow.com and travel blog at https://travelingepic.com

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