Whether you are using Teams for work, school, or to keep connected with friends and family while sheltering in place, technical and social issues may arise. Here are our top tips for running smooth virtual meetings in Microsoft Teams.
If you haven’t already experienced losing 15 minutes of a meeting to audio or video problems, count yourself lucky. It happens, and it happens a lot when this many new people are trying to get connected. Everything from people being on mute to the dreaded feedback loop – you will have issues. This list should help prepare you:
- Have a backup. Dial-in if you can’t get the computer to work.
- You’ll usually have a more stable experience with a desktop or mobile app vs a browser app.
- If you don’t have a good headset, think about investing in one or asking your company to get you one 😊.
- Check your audio and video settings before you hit Join.
- Slow connection? Turn off video to cut down on bandwidth.
Sharing Your Screen
Sharing your screen is a great way to share your work visually and collaborate in real-time. You can share PowerPoint presentations, app or browser windows, your entire desktop, or a virtual whiteboard. If you haven’t done it before, make sure you are prepared before the meeting to avoid delays or accidental over-shares.
- On a Mac? You will have to change your privacy settings before you can share your screen. You’ll be prompted to do so when you attempt to share your screen.
- Linux user? Window sharing is not available. 😢
- Using Teams on the web? Make sure you are using Google Chrome or the latest version of Microsoft Edge or you won’t be able to share.
- Have the document, application, or window you are planning to share open and cued before the meeting. This will help move things along faster.
- Slow your scroll. Zipping through a doc or website may leave your viewers nauseous if you go too fast. Take your time, and give people a heads up before any major scrolling.
- Close your open tabs and clean up your desktop before sharing. When you share your desktop or browser window, participants can see it all. No one wants an awkward TMI moment.
- Keep them focused when sharing a PowerPoint. Participants can scroll through the PPT you are presenting behind the scenes. You can prevent this by clicking the eye icon next to Stop presenting.
- Mobile app options are different. You can share a PowerPoint, your screen (FYI, they’ll see your notifications), live video from your camera, and you can take a photo or share one from your gallery.
- Share content from multiple devices. In a meeting on your computer, but want to share a live video of your dog doing something cute? Open Teams on your phone or tablet and tap Join at the top.
Meetings large and small need ground rules and etiquette that everyone agrees to and understands. Every team or organization will have different ones but just in case, here are a few ways to not be “that person” in a meeting:
- Meeting with more than one other person? Mute yourself unless you’re talking and know the keyboard shortcuts for mute/unmute.
- Hungry? Wait until the meeting is over. Misophonia is a thing and no one wants to see or hear you eat that bag of chips.
- Multiple devices? Turn off notifications on all devices in the room before you join a meeting. Remember: Alexa is always listening and Alexa from IT gets really pissed when your Alexa answers for her.
- Haven’t cleaned the house in a while? Be aware that everything behind you will show when you’re on video. Use the background blur or virtual background features to keep the focus on you.
- Video on or off? Have your team agree on what works best for regular meetings and ask what the company default is.
- Late to the meeting? You messed up; it happens, but don’t make a big to-do about it. Join muted and if someone else is speaking, give a wave and send your apologies in chat.
- Have a question? Raise your hand if you are in a large meeting – physically or virtually, using the raise hand feature.
- Not wearing pants? Please, please, please don’t stand up.
Fun Stuff That Makes Us Happy
Goat 2 Meeting – Make a donation to Sweet Farm Sanctuary and they’ll have one of their residents call into your meeting.
Snap Camera – You too can be the potato on a video call by using the Snap Camera app with Teams.
Custom Teams Background Images – We’ve heard this will be ready May 2020, but if you are itching to use your own (and you are an advanced user) you can.
my boss turned herself into a potato on our Microsoft teams meeting and can’t figure out how to turn the setting off, so she was just stuck like this the entire meeting pic.twitter.com/uHLgJUOsXk— Rachele with an e but pronounced Rachel (@PettyClegg) March 30, 2020
Virtual meetings are the new normal. We hope these tips help you get set-up and comfortable with them.
Looking for more Microsoft Teams guidance?
If you or your organization are leveraging Microsoft Teams or OneDrive to enable working from home, we are offering our Quick Start for Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for FREE until August 1, 2020.
The Quick Start is a browser extension for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Installation takes less than two minutes and does not require an admin. Once installed, any time you are working in the web versions of Microsoft Teams or Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Content Panda will be there to offer you:
- Working from Home Guidance
- Curated Best Practices for Microsoft Teams and OneDrive
- In-Context Tooltips and Tours
Content Panda accelerates digital literacy and learning, putting easy access to tooltips and tours featuring the most up-to-date and relevant content right at your fingertips.