Meetings in Microsoft Teams: Tips and Tricks

Even if you’re a seasoned Microsoft Teams user, easily setting up video calls, private channels, and integrating Office apps, there are probably a few cool Teams tips you might be missing out on. This article will help you become an absolute expert in rocking those virtual meetings. We’ll explore some Teams tips and tricks for the desktop version and mobile app that will elevate your experience. So, grab your notepads and let’s show them all that even veteran users can still flex their digital muscles. =

Understanding the Basics of Microsoft Teams Meetings

An open laptop on a desk, a bright window beyond. The screen is white with orange writing: JOIN US ONLINE

Scheduling a Meeting 

You want to be the master of the meeting setup? It’s a piece of cake – just follow these steps: 

  • Open the Teams desktop app and head over to the calendar view. 
  • Spot that “New Meeting” button? Click it! 
  • Fill in the meeting details – title, date, time, and duration. 
  • Add your colleagues’ email addresses in the invitees section or select guest users from your contacts. 
  • Customise the meeting options to your liking – video on or off, audio preferences, you name it! 
  • Hit that “Send” button, and off goes the meeting invite to your attendees. 

Joining a Meeting 

Time to join the party! Joining a Microsoft Teams meeting is as easy as 1-2-3, no matter if it’s from home or a busy office: 

  • Open the Teams desktop app like the tech-savvy superstar that you are. 
  • Locate the Calendar tab on the left-hand side. Click it, then find the meeting you’re looking for on today’s date. Click it, then hit Join! 

Navigating the Meeting Interface 

Alright, you’re in a Teams meeting. Now what? Let’s take a quick tour of the meeting interface: 

  • Video: Show off that winning smile by toggling your video on or off. Or set your Teams profile picture so that even if your video is off, people can still see your face. 
  • Audio: Mute or unmute your microphone when needed. 
  • Share: It’s showtime! Share your screen or specific applications with fellow meeting enthusiasts. 
  • Chat: Need to send a quick message? There’s a whole channel conversation box to drop a message into if you want to address the whole team, or talk one on one in private chats. 
  • Participants: Peek at the guest list and manage their permissions. 
  • Reactions: Express your emotions with the right emoji. 
  • End Meeting: When the time comes, bid farewell to the meeting and revel in your newfound expertise.

Preparing for a Successful Microsoft Teams Meeting

Creating an Agenda 

You know what they say – a well-planned meeting is a successful meeting! Crafting an agenda sets the stage for productivity and keeps everyone on track. Here’s how to do it: 

  • State the purpose and objectives of the meeting loud and clear. 
  • Outline the topics to be discussed in a logical order – flow is key! 
  • Allocate time slots for each agenda item. 
  • Share the agenda with your participants beforehand. 

Inviting Participants 

Who’s going to party with you in the virtual meeting room? Time to invite your colleagues and make them feel like VIPs: 

  • Double-check those email addresses – you don’t want any digital party crashers. There is a guest access feature for people outside of your organisation to join, but you’ll still control their permissions. 
  • Clearly communicate the meeting date, time, and duration. No one likes to be fashionably late! 
  • Provide any pre-reading materials or documents your attendees might need. 
  • Let them know what’s expected of them during the meeting. 

Setting Meeting Permissions 

Team owners and active users can set up meetings and adjust meeting permissions: 

  • Grant presenter status to those who deserve the spotlight and make sure they know how to use the control panel for screen sharing. 
  • For larger teams or for meeting panel discussions, you might keep some participants in “attendee” mode for a view-only experience. 
  • Get creative with specific permissions for individual participants. You’re the master of customisation! 

Running an Engaging Microsoft Teams Meeting

Using the Message Box Functionality 

Time to get chatty! The chat functionality in Microsoft Teams is your secret weapon for communication and collaboration in teams and channels: 

  • Encourage participants to unleash their inner wordsmiths and share their thoughts in the meeting chat. 
  • Spice things up with some exciting links, documents, or GIFs in the message box. 
  • Use @mentions to give special shout-outs to specific individuals. Who doesn’t love a little recognition? 
  • After the meeting, revisit the conversation thread in the meeting chat for a trip down memory lane or to follow up on any action items. 

Sharing Your Screen 

Got a big presentation lined up? Here’s how to share your screen and let everyone else in on the action: 

  • Click on the “Share” button in the meeting controls. 
  • Choose whether you want to share your entire screen, a specific window, or that killer PowerPoint presentation you’ve prepared. 
  • Select the screen or window you want to share – you don’t want your colleagues to see what you’re watching on Netflix on your other screen. 
  • Got music or video in your preso? Enable the “Include computer sound” option to share audio as well. 
  • Finally, hit that “Share” button and let the magic of file sharing and video meetings unfold before everyone’s eyes. 

Utilising the Whiteboard Feature 

Unleash your inner artist and collaborate visually with the whiteboard app in Teams. It’s one of the many collaboration apps you can access here: 

  • During a meeting, click on the “Share” button. 
  • Select the “Whiteboard” option. 
  • Get your digital pens ready and start doodling, writing, or sticking sticky notes on the virtual canvas. 
  • Encourage meeting participants to join in the artistic frenzy and contribute their own brilliant ideas and annotations. 
  • Don’t forget to save the whiteboard masterpiece for future reference. You never know when inspiration might strike again! 
  • Expert Tip, want some extra space to draw? You can join the meeting on a second device like a phone or a tablet and draw on there! 

Managing Meeting Participants 

As the meeting organiser or host, you have the power to manage participants: 

  • Mute participants when the noise levels get out of hand. 
  • Grant or revoke participant permissions based on their roles or contributions. 
  • Need smaller group discussions or brainstorming sessions? Activate those breakout rooms and let the collaboration magic happen. 
  • Keep an eye on participant engagement levels. Give gentle nudges to the quiet ones and bask in the energetic vibes of the active contributors.

Mastering Advanced Features in Microsoft Teams Meetings

A male and female colleague sit behind a laptop, the man gesturing towards the screen at document management

Recording a Meeting 

Lights, camera, record! Capture those brilliant meeting moments with the recording feature in Microsoft Teams: 

  • Start the meeting and locate the “More Actions” (ellipsis) button in the meeting controls. 
  • Click on “Start Recording”. A friendly notification will let participants know that the meeting is being recorded. 
  • When the meeting wraps up, hit that “Stop Recording” button. The recording will be saved, ready to be revisited whenever inspiration strikes or when someone says, “Hey, remember that amazing meeting we had?” 

Utilising Live Captions and Translations 

Not everyone will speak the default language. Make communication inclusive and break language barriers with live captions and translations: 

  • During a meeting, look for the “More Actions” button. 
  • Click on “Turn on live captions” to start real-time captions for everyone to enjoy. 
  • Need translations? Select the desired language and captions will appear at the bottom of the meeting window. 

Conducting Polls and Surveys 

Who doesn’t love a good poll or survey? Engage your meeting participants and gather their insights: 

  • During a meeting, channel your inner pollster and locate the “More Actions” button. 
  • Click on it and select the “Forms” option. 
  • Craft your questions and response options like a pro. Get those creative gears turning! 
  • Launch the poll or survey and watch the answers roll in from your eager participants. 
  • Bask in the glory of real-time results and use them to fuel further discussions or decision-making. 

Utilising Keyboard Shortcuts 

Ready to power up your meeting productivity? Get these keyboard shortcuts and slash commands handy and you’ll be off to a great start: 

  • Need to mute or unmute your microphone in a flash? Try “Ctrl + Shift + M.” 
  • Want to show off your video skills? Use “Ctrl + Shift + O” to turn your camera on or off. 
  • Dreaming of recording that meeting masterpiece? “Ctrl + Shift + K” is your secret recording shortcut. 
  • Need to show or hide the participant panel? Give “Ctrl + Shift + U” a try. 

Customising Notifications 

Stay focused and keep distractions at bay by customising your Teams notification settings: 

  • Click on your profile picture – it’s your portal to settings nirvana. 
  • Navigate to the “Notifications” tab. 
  • Choose the settings that work best for you – be it message notifications, mentions, or other alerts. You can even set up desktop notifications so you don’t miss anything. 
  • Add a personal touch by customising the notification sound and duration. Make it uniquely yours! 

Leveraging Meeting Templates 

Why reinvent the wheel? Let meeting templates be your productivity secret weapon: 

  • Open the calendar tab in Teams – it’s your meeting template treasure trove. 
  • Spot that shiny “New Meeting” button? Click it! 
  • Select the “Meeting Template” option. Choose a template that suits your needs or create your own. 
  • Customise the meeting details and options as needed. 
  • Hit that “Save” button and watch the meeting magic unfold.

Integrating Third-Party Apps and Services 

Microsoft Teams loves playing well with others. Explore the Teams App Store and integrate your favourite apps and services. Need project management tools? There’s an app for that. Craving some note-taking goodness? Teams has got you covered. Want to connect with other communication platforms? That integration is in-built. If you want some help linking all your platforms, Propelle can help you connect the dots. 

Integrating Calendar and Email 

Simplify your meeting life by integrating your calendar and email with Microsoft Teams: 

  • Sync your Outlook or other calendars with Teams – say goodbye to switching between apps. 
  • Enable email notifications for meeting updates, reminders, and agenda attachments – because staying in the loop is important. 
  • Use the “Schedule a Meeting” feature directly from your email client – save time and keep your productivity levels soaring.

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Microsoft Teams Meetings

Audio and Video Problems 

Uh-oh, audio or video acting up? 

  • Check your audio and video device connections. 
  • Make sure your microphone and speakers aren’t playing hide-and-seek with you – unmute them if needed. 
  • Give the Teams desktop app or your device a quick restart – sometimes a fresh start works wonders. 
  • Test your audio and video settings in the Teams settings menu – because a little tinkering never hurt anyone. 
  • Keep your Teams app up to date – those updates bring all the bug fixes and improvements. 

Connectivity Issues 

Oh no, connectivity woes! Let’s conquer them together: 

  • Double-check your internet connection – make sure it’s stable and ready for action. 
  • Disconnect and reconnect to the meeting – sometimes a little digital reboot does the trick. 
  • Close unnecessary applications or browser tabs – let’s free up some bandwidth for that smooth online meeting experience. 
  • Consider switching to a wired internet connection – a reliable connection can save the day. 
  • If all else fails, restart your router or call in the IT cavalry. They’ll swoop in and save the day! 

Screen Sharing Challenges 

Ah, the joys of screen sharing. Let’s troubleshoot those challenges: 

  • Double-check that you’ve selected the correct screen or window to share – you don’t want people to see that job listing open… awkward. 
  • Make sure no pesky security settings or overlays are blocking your screen or window – unleash that content for all to see. 
  • Give the screen sharing feature or the Teams desktop app a quick restart – a fresh start might do the trick. 
  • Ensure you have the necessary permissions to share your screen – because sharing is caring, but only if you’re allowed to! 

Dealing with Disruptions 

Sometimes, meeting disruptions happen. Here’s how to handle them with grace and finesse: 

  • Gently remind participants of meeting etiquette and guidelines – a friendly nudge can work wonders. 
  • Use the meeting controls to mute or remove disruptive participants if needed – silence those virtual party crashers! 
  • Address disruptive behaviour privately, if appropriate – a little one-on-one chat can go a long way. 
  • Encourage a respectful and professional atmosphere throughout the meeting – because meetings are cooler when everyone’s on their best behaviour.

Master the Microsoft and Office 365 Suite with Propelle

Armed with these tips and tricks, you’re ready to conquer the virtual meeting world like a pro. From understanding the basics to running engaging meetings and troubleshooting common issues, you’re now equipped with the knowledge to make every Teams meeting a success. 

Remember to leverage the advanced features, optimise your productivity, and keep that friendly and light-hearted tone throughout your meetings. Embrace the joy of collaboration, make the most of the powerful tools at your disposal, and enjoy the seamless experience that Microsoft Teams provides. 

If you’re a Teams client and want get more out of your collaboration platforms for document sharing, interactive meetings, device settings, and other common tasks, the Propelle team is here to help. We help organisations make the most of the platforms within the Microsoft and Office 365 group and enhance their experience with Teams.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microsoft Teams

What are the system requirements for Microsoft Teams meetings? 

To join and participate in Microsoft Teams meetings, you need a compatible device (computer, smartphone, or tablet) with a supported operating system and a reliable internet connection. 

Can I join a Teams meeting without an account? 

Absolutely! You can join a Teams meeting as a guest without creating an account. The meeting organiser can send you a guest link or invite you using your email address. 

How can I record a Microsoft Teams meeting? 

Ready to capture those meeting memories? Click on the “More Actions” (ellipsis) button in the meeting controls and select “Start Recording.” Let the virtual recording magic begin, and then access the video in a private channel later. 

Is it possible to conduct a Teams meeting on a mobile device? 

You bet! Microsoft Teams meetings can be conducted on mobile devices through the Teams mobile application. Simply download the app, sign in, and join or schedule meetings on the go. Who said meetings are limited to desktops? 

Can I share files during a Teams meeting? 

Absolutely! Sharing is caring, after all. Click on the “Share” button in the meeting controls and choose the file or screen you want to share with your fellow meeting enthusiasts. It’s like a virtual show-and-tell! You can use the search box to find the file too, if you get a bit lost. 

How can I improve the audio and video quality in Teams meetings? 

Want to level up your audio and video game? Ensure you have a stable internet connection, use high-quality audio and video devices, and minimise background noise and distractions. With a little TLC, your audio and video quality will be top-notch! And don’t forget, you can use background effects or the blur feature if you want to maintain some privacy.