Microsoft Teams: Getting to grips with Meetings

Published by Caroline Carlin on

Author:  Caroline Carlin – TELT

In our next two Teams blogs, we’re moving onto meetings. Teams meetings have a range of features  which are increasingly making it the tool of choice to host online meetings, lectures and seminars.

This week lays the foundations with tips to get you up and running.  Next time we’ll explore how to really make the most of meetings to deliver interactive and engaging online teaching.

Setting up a meeting

You can schedule a meeting within your calendar both in Teams and in Outlook.  The two are linked up, so if you schedule a meeting in one, it will also appear in the other.

In Teams, go to your Calendar (left hand panel of the app) and choose New Meeting.  When you create a meeting in Teams, you’ll have the option to add attendees or choose a channel to meet in.  If you choose a channel to meet in, the meeting and a Join link will display in the channel.  When the meeting’s concluded a record of it will appear in the channel and include any typed conversations that took place at the same time.
Note:  Meetings can’t currently be scheduled in Private channels.

In Outlook, go to your Calendar and choose New Teams Meeting on the ribbon (if you’ve gone to New Meeting you can click Teams Meeting to add a Teams meeting link).   Meetings scheduled in Outlook can’t be linked to a Teams channel.  They’ll be sent to each person’s calendar, along with a link to join.  When the meeting’s concluded, a record of it will appear in everyone’s Teams Chat and include any typed conversations that took place at the same time.

Meeting ‘ad hoc’.

Typed conversations are great for a quick catch up, but sometimes it’s easier to just talk with an instant meeting.  In a Teams channel, use the Meet Now button:

In a chat, look for the Video and Audio call buttons at the top of the screen:

Top tips and features

  • Once you’re in a meeting, all your controls can be accessed by moving your mouse and displaying the control bar:
  • Within a meeting you can share your desktop, a window, whiteboard or present a PowerPoint presentation.
    • Sharing your desktop enables you to move between different windows in the same sharing instance. Choose ‘Include system audio’ if you want to play video/audio.
    • Sharing a window will only share a specific window. To move to a different window you will need to stop sharing and reshare the new window. Choose ‘Include system audio’ if you want to play video/audio.
    • Sharing a PowerPoint file will go directly into PowerPoint show. This should play any audio/video as you would expect in a slide show.  It’s a good idea to have your PowerPoint open and ready to go, but you can also Browse.
  • If you’re presenting with PowerPoint participants can move through slides independently. You can switch this off by clicking the ‘eye’ button to the left of Stop Presenting.
  • Hand over to colleagues or students and let them share their screen by giving them control (they can also request control), perfect for shared presentation and lectures.
  • You can have conversations alongside the meeting – great if participants don’t have a mic. Depending on where your meeting takes place, these are stored in the channel as posts, or in chat.
  • Add meeting notes (in More actions) to capture thoughts and ideas in public channels – these are saved as a OneNote notebook in their own tab in the channel.
  • We’ve probably all seen unfortunate incidents or distractions behind someone in a virtual meeting. In more actions on the Control Bar, you can blur your background if you don’t want others to see what’s going on behind you, choose a background template or even unofficially add your own.
  • You can record a meeting in public channels (more actions – start recording). Don’t forget to Stop Recording when you’re done.  The recording will be available in the channel for members to view for seven days.  It will also be uploaded to Stream (for the meeting organiser) where you can get a link or embed code.
  • If you want to make sure that no one else can take over whilst you (as the organiser) are presenting, you can control this in your meeting options:
      1. Schedule a Meeting in your calendar or public channel
      2. Once scheduled, open the meeting and choose Meeting Options
      3. Choose who can present – e.g. Only Me

    You can change a participant’s role in the Meeting at any time by choosing Show Participants on the Control Bar.

    Whats new in Teams?

    Keep up to date with new features in Teams by typing /whatsnew into the search bar at the top of the Teams window.


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