Using Microsoft Teams as an Online Meeting Platform

Ashley Chambliss
Group of 6 people on computer screen meeting with two hands on laptop keyboard

Has your team discovered and implemented Microsoft Teams yet? Maybe your team followed suit like the other 24 million people who added Microsoft Teams to their tech stack in 2020 when remote work became the necessity. Teams quickly became not just a way, but the way to use as an Online Meeting Platform, and it’s not just for internal organization use either. Let’s dive into how and why to use Microsoft Teams as your Online Meeting Platform of choice. 

Schedule your Microsoft Teams Meeting 

In Teams, on the left-hand side toolbar there is a calendar icon where once clicked, you can either “Meet Now” or “Create a Meeting” right within Teams. You also have the capability of adding a Teams Meeting to your Outlook calendar invite or clicking on a specific time and date right in your calendar to populate those details in your meeting. Scheduling a meeting should be this seamless and automatic giving you time back in your day. With the integrated approach that Microsoft Office 365 provides, connecting your meetings with your Outlook is a perfect match. 

Within the meeting setup, you can create a standard meeting for your participants, or you can set up a webinar. To make this meeting a webinar, you’ll hit Require registration. You can do this for everyone you’re inviting or only for those inside your organization.

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Set up Microsoft Teams Meeting Options 

Once you’ve set up the time, date and participants in your meeting, you can explore the Meeting Options within the meeting. To get to Meeting Options, you’ll open the meeting and under Meeting Options, and you’ll have the ability to toggle yes or no for the following options: 

Who can bypass the lobby? 

Everyone, People in my organization and guests, People I invite, Only Me 

Always let callers bypass the lobby 

Yes/No 

Announce when callers join or leave 

Yes/No 

Who can present? 

Everyone, People in my organization, Specific people, Only me 

Allow mic for attendees? 

Yes/No 

Allow camera for attendees? 

Yes/No 

Record automatically 

Yes/No 

Allow meeting chat 

Enabled, Disabled, In-Meeting only 

Allow reactions 

Yes/No 

Screen shot of meeting details in Microsoft Teams

Start your Microsoft Teams Meeting 

The day and time to start your Teams meeting has arrived! Once you and your participants have clicked the join button, you have the option to request others to join the call by either their contact or phone number. You may also copy and share a link to then either chat or email them. Everyone will have the ability to pin or spotlight certain people on the call which may be useful to identify the speakers.  

One common issue seen time and again is being on mute and not knowing it. While this can make for a hilariously relatable moment depending on your audience, it can sometimes take a minute to locate the mute button. In this event, keep in mind of a helpful shortcut to mute or unmute yourself: Ctrl+Shift+M. 

You may decide you’d like to record the meeting. When you press record, there is a prompt letting everyone know that they are now being recorded. Once saved to Microsoft Stream, the meeting recording will be added to the chat so your participants can download it and view later. Presenters have the ability to turn on transcription, which may be a useful tool as well.
 

Share your Screen in your Microsoft Teams Meeting 

An important function of any meeting is the ability to share your screen, so everyone is on the same page of what is being discussed. At the top of your meeting is the share screen button where you can share your entire desktop screen or specify a certain window to share. The second option makes it so the audience can only see the window you’ve selected, and nothing else. This allows you to keep the rest of your screen for your eyes only.  

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Collaborate in your Microsoft Teams Meeting 

Creating a meeting also gives the participants the ability to chat, add files, meeting notes and a whiteboard capability. You may want to attach an agenda or another document that you will need for the meeting. These will be stored in Files. Meeting notes may also be used during the meeting and will be saved in the chat for everyone to locate. The whiteboard is currently only available for those within your organization. Just as if you were in the office together, everyone has the chance to add to the whiteboard via text, digital dry erase markers and highlighters as well as shapes to create visuals.  

Screen shot of collaboration tool bar in Microsoft Teams meeting with Files highlighted

Interact in your Microsoft Teams Meeting 
Collaboration is key when meeting with your team, and interactions provide an even richer experience. Participants can use the reactions feature to like, love, clap, laugh or raise their hand to show they have something to say without audibly interrupting.

You may also like to utilize the breakout rooms feature which is controlled by the organizer of the meeting. You may create the breakout rooms automatically or manually assign specific people to certain rooms. The organizer has the ability to determine the amount of time in the breakout room and Teams will notify the participants when they are being moved back to the main meeting. 
 

Another way to interact with your audience in Teams is to create polls. To add this, you can locate Microsoft Forms under Apps and add it to your chat, team or meeting. You may create the poll before or during the meeting. This is a simple way to create a more dynamic meeting and choose whether to share the results publicly in real-time. 

Screen shot of how to add Microsoft Forms to a team, chat or meeting

Wrapping up your Microsoft Teams Meeting 

You did it. You successfully navigated a Microsoft Teams Meeting with all its unique and intuitive functionality. Using Microsoft Teams as an Online Meeting Platform provides you and your team with the ability to meet digitally, share your screen, show your video, collaborate and participate in an efficient and interactive way.  

Finally, to find your Attendance Report for the meeting, click on the Participants and select the three ellipses (…) then  Download Participants List and it will show up in your downloads folder to view and use in your reporting. Thriveon IT Managed Services is here to strategically guide you onto a successful path with Microsoft’s Modern Workplace.  

If you have questions on Microsoft Teams or any of your other technology, pleasecontact us 

Get MS Teams working for you! Schedule your FREE Technology Audit now 

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