How to get more from Microsoft Teams meetings
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began at the start of 2020, the demand for tools like Microsoft Teams was rising. Everywhere, companies wanted a more convenient way to connect and collaborate. Microsoft offered Teams as the perfect all-in-one environment for file and screen sharing, instant messaging, video, and more.
Now that we’re living in a new world, where remote working is the norm, Microsoft is gaining more users every day. Just between the dates of the 11th and 18th of March 2020, the company earned 12 million new Teams users.
The question is, do you know how to make the most of your Microsoft Teams experience? Even if you’re thinking about heading back into the office, Teams is likely to remain an essential part of your productivity stack. Here are some top tips to help you out.
1. Sync Files to Teams
There are few things more important than having access to the right information in today’s business landscape. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams users can easily sync files from their computers directly to Teams. You can drag and drop information into your Microsoft Teams conversations.
Plus, thanks to a SharePoint solution, you can also see previews of documents in Teams, view document lifecycles, and more. With Microsoft Teams, you can even pin your most important files to the top of a conversation. To share a file, click on Teams and pick a team or channel. You can then click on Attach to share a file, or just drag and drop your file into the conversation.
2. Use a Custom Background
Custom backgrounds are one of the best ways to make sure that your team members aren’t distracted by what’s going on in the background of your office. Fortunately, Microsoft gives you access to two different options for your background. You can either blur your surroundings or transform them with a virtual filter.
To begin, click on the ellipses in meeting to discover more options, then click on Show background effects. This will give you some pre-existing options to choose from. You can learn how to add your own backgrounds here.
3. Try Inline Translation
Do you have people in your team from all over the world? Maybe you’re connecting with a client overseas, or you have a bunch of contractors that speak a different language. If that’s the case, then Microsoft Teams can help. All you need to do is click on the ellipses next to a message, and you’ll see a selection of options.
Within those options, click on Translate to get an inline message translation. This will automatically translate the message on your behalf.
4. Experiment with Captions
Another way to improve the clarity in your meetings with Microsoft Teams, is to experiment with captions. Captions basically give you a real-time insight into what anyone is saying during your meeting. This is excellent if you can’t hear your colleagues very well, or they speak in a different language.
You can use the Translate option on Microsoft Teams if you want to see captions in a specific language. Alternatively, just turn Subtitles on if your colleague is speaking the same language as you. You can also download the meeting transcript that you create after the conversation is over. Just tap on Meetings and use Live Event Resources to get your file.
5. Record Your Meetings
Just as you can get transcript documents for your meetings, it’s also possible to record your conversations for later use too. All Microsoft Teams users can record Teams Meetings and group calls. The recording happens within the Cloud, and Microsoft will save it to Stream, so you can share it with the rest of your organisation.
To start a recording, you’ll need to be in a meeting. Click on the More Options ellipses and select Start Recording. Your app will tell everyone that you’ve begun recording so that they can choose whether they want to opt out. Click on the ellipses again to end the recording.
6. Try Some Keyboard Shortcuts
Shortcuts are a handy way to save time when you’re in a video meeting. When you’re trying to stay as productive as possible, you don’t want to have to search for things like the Zoom function, or the mute button. Here are some quick shortcuts to get you started:
Ctrl+6: See files
Crtrl+ / Ctrl-: Zoom in or out
Ctrl+Shift+P: Background Blur
7. Add Context with Intelligent Capture
Microsoft is constantly delivering new features to make Teams more intuitive. One of those features is Intelligent Capture, a function that will allow you to intelligently capture the content on your whiteboard in a presentation. You’ll need a special camera to access this feature.
However, when Intelligent Capture is available, you’ll be able to focus and enhance whiteboard images, which means that sharing information is easier than ever. You don’t have to worry about constantly focusing the camera on your whiteboard.
8. Integrate Some Third-Party Apps or Bots
Another huge bonus of Microsoft Teams is that you can adjust it to suit your needs. There are various integrations with leading tools on the Microsoft apps store, including bots that streamline your workflows, and analytical tools to give you a better insight into how your collaborative strategy is working. You can find all of the add-ins on the Microsoft App Source environment and adding them to your Teams solution is as simple as clicking a button.
Adding something like Webex Call into Microsoft Teams even means that you can make calls using Webex technology, without leaving your Microsoft Teams environment.
9. Make the Most of Microsoft Connections
Finally, remember that it’s not just third-party apps that are available with Microsoft Teams. You can also tap into all of the incredible tools from Microsoft’s Office 365 collection. This includes being able to share sheets and documents straight from your computer during a meeting.
Another excellent feature of Microsoft is the ability to combine Teams and Outlook. If you want to bring an email into a conversation with a client, click on the ellipses for the more options menu on Outlook, and click on the option to Share to Teams.
10. Stay Tuned to UC Today
All the latest Microsoft Teams news is here, so make sure to keep an eye on us and our social media feeds for all the information and tips you need to stay at the top of your collaboration game.
There you have it – some great tips for mastering your Microsoft Teams meetings.