In-meeting controls and what you can do with Microsoft Teams; How to start a Microsoft Teams meeting. You can set up your Microsoft Teams meeting either through the Teams app or Microsoft Outlook. The meeting looks the same both ways. You can decide which you want to use based on what makes the most sense to your company. The meeting lifecycle—from scheduling to follow-up can be difficult to manage. Microsoft Teams meeting solution helps automate the full lifecycle of meetings and saves you time so you can be focused and empowered to get more done. Join Meeting Test Test your internet connection by joining a test meeting. On the App bar, then click the New meeting then choose a location or team channel. Join a Meeting from a Channel: View the team channel the meeting is taking place in, locate the meeting in the Content pane, then click a meeting’s Join Now button. Or, click the meeting to view its details and then click the Join button. Type /testcall in the Teams search bar and hit Enter. The test call will start immediately.
How to Set Up a Microsoft Teams Meeting for First-Time Users
This guide is designed to help you set up a Microsoft Teams meeting for the first time.
It should also help you learn how to the different variations of Microsoft Teams meetings and the features at your disposal before, during, and after a meeting.
Here’s how to get started. If you’re already using Teams, you can jump to the section most relevant below:
How to start a Microsoft Teams meeting
You can set up your Microsoft Teams meeting either through the Teams app or Microsoft Outlook.
The meeting looks the same bothways.
You can decide which you want to use based on what makes the most sense to your company.
Microsoft is all about making meetings flexible so there are four ways that you can launch a discussion with your team:
- Ad-hoc meetings: Created by clicking the “Meet Now” button to get everyone involved in a conversation as quickly as possible.
- Private meetings: 1-on-1 conversations with specific colleagues or employees.
- Channel meetings: Group conversations with an entire team or group of people.
- Consultation meetings: Like in a telemedicine example where doctors and patients meet one to one.
How to Meet Now in Microsoft Teams
If you want to “Meet Now” in Microsoft Teams, you’re probably looking for the quickest way to get all of the people in a channel talking.
All you need to do is select the little camera icon in a new or existing conversations.
In your video preview, enter a name for your meeting, and click Meet Now.
Click on the names of the people you want to invite to your meeting.
You can also type phone numbers if you want to add people from outside of your organization to the discussion.
If you want to joina meeting using Meet Now, look for the camera icon in a conversation and click Jump In.
If you want to sharea screen during your meeting, click the screen icon to show your screen to the other people you’re talking to.
The ellipses icon will give you other in-meeting controls, including the option to record the meeting and have it emailed to you.
How to schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting
You can schedule Microsoft Teams meetings using your Exchange calendar.
Your calendar in Teams is automatically synced to your Exchange calendar.
Every meeting scheduled in Teams automatically becomes an online meeting.
To schedule a meeting in a chat window, select the icon that looks like a calendar in the chat below the box where you usually type your messages.
You can also go to the Calendar tab on the left-hand side of the app and click on New Meeting.
Select a range of time within the calendar and Teams will open a scheduling form, where you can give your meeting a title, invite people, and add meeting details.
Microsoft Teams also has a Scheduling Assistant you can use to find a time that works for everyone.
Once you’ve got all the details ironed out, click Save. This closes the scheduling form and sends an invite to everyone’s inbox.
To create a channel meeting, click on New Meeting and type the name of one or more channels into the box that says Add Channel.
Channels can’t be added or edited after you’ve sent your invites.
You’ll need to send a new invite if you decide to add extra channels later.
When you have a channel meeting, everyone in the team can see and join that channel.
Once again, you can use the Scheduling Assistant with a channel meeting.
You can also use dropdown boxes on your calendar to add a recurring meeting to everyone’s calendar.
Remember, in a Microsoft Exchange calendar, all Microsoft Teams Meetings will show a Join button five minutes before a meeting is set to start.
When someone joins a meeting, the event changes colors to let you know that someone’s online.
How to schedule a Microsoft Teams meeting from Outlook
You can also schedule your Microsoft Teams Meetings from Outlook.
The Microsoft Teams Outlook add-in allows people to view, accept, or enter meetings from Teams, or Outlook.
To schedule a meeting, open Outlook and click on New Teams Meeting in the calendar view.
Add the people that you want to include in the meeting to the To field.
If you want a bunch of people to join the meeting at once, you can invite entire contact groups.
Add your meeting subject, as well as a location, start time, and end time, then click Send to inform your team.
You can also invite people outside of your organization to a Teams Meeting from Outlook.
All you need to do is add them as guests before the meeting starts, so they don’t need to join anonymously.
Add guests to your team by selecting Teams then visiting the team in your list. Click on … (More Options) > Add member.
Enter the email address of the guest.
Anyone with a business or consumer account can join your team as a guest.
You can also edit guest information to give them a name.
Click Add to send a welcome email to your guest.
Customize your Microsoft Teams background
Video conferencing is a great way to bring teams together, regardless of where your users are. However, people may be reluctant to join a video meeting if their environment is messy or distracting.
The good news? Microsoft Teams changes all that.
You can blur everything behind you in a video, for absolute privacy.
To do this, simply:
- Click on your audio and video settings screen when you join a meeting
- Choose the ellipses “…” for more options
- Tap on Blur my background
Microsoft Teams Test Meeting Url
You can also add custom backgrounds like an office environment or company logo, rather than blurring out the background.
Microsoft Teams Custom Backgrounds
Microsoft introduced virtual backgrounds for Microsoft Teams in April 2020. Microsoft said it designed custom backgrounds to let you replace your real meeting background with a “fresh and bright home office.”
To find virtual backgrounds, launch a video chat and tap the … menu:
Click Show background effects.
This will bring up a sidebar with some alternative background options.
You can only use stock photos from Microsoft for now but watch this space.
For something more advanced, and to stand out in front of your boss, colleagues, or clients, you can opt for a third-party background.
To download a selection of premium Microsoft Teams backgrounds, you can choose from 300 high-quality images here.
How to add members to Microsoft Teams Meetings
The are various ways that you can add people to a meeting in Microsoft Teams.
For instance, if you have Anonymous Join enabled, then anyone can join the conference as an anonymous user by clicking on a meeting link invitation.
You can turn Anonymous Join on by visiting the Microsoft Teams admin center, clicking on Meetings > Meeting Settings > Participants:
If you want more control over who attends your meetings, toggle this switch off, and send invitations to individual team members instead.
As well as inviting everyone in a channel or conversation to a meeting at once, you can also send an email and phone number invitations too.
Before a meeting, you can use the Invite People box when you start your meeting to search for people and invite whoever you like.
When you’re in a meeting, click on Show participants icon your meeting controls to see who’s there, who’s been invited, and who isn’t there yet.
To ask someone to join a meeting, you can click on More Options (…), then Ask to Join.
Alternatively, type a person’s name into the search box (if they’re in your organization), or their phone number or email address.
Want to customize your meeting invitations?
Click on Meetings > Meeting Settings > Email invitation.
Here, you can customize the logo that shows up in your email invitation, as well as the footer, to make your invite seem more professional.
How to see everyone in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams allows for up to 250 people to participate in a single Teams meeting.
But, this doesn’t mean you can see all users at the same time. Until recently, Teams only allowed users to view the 4 last active participants in a video call.
As part of the thirdanniversary of Microsoft Teams celebration on the 20th of March, Microsoft rolled out various updates, including a new ability to see up to 9 people in a meeting at the same time.
The upgrade to simultaneously being able to view 9 participants came with a few exciting other features for Microsoft Teams meetings, like:
- Background blur for iOS devices
- Enhanced audio even when using networks with high packet loss
- Booking apps added to teams
- Custom backgrounds for video meetings
- A raise handsfeature to let your colleagues know you have something to say
- The option to formally end meetings for all Teams participants at the same time
The new 9-person view for Microsoft Teams will feature a 3×3 grid of the most active people in your meeting.
The option will be rolled out incrementally so keep checking your Teams meetings for this.
Choosing what you want to see in a Teams meeting
Although you can’t switch from one screen layout to another in a Teams meeting, Microsoft anticipates what you need to see during conversations.
When someone is speaking, they’ll be added to the roster of the 9 videos you can see on your screen at once.
There are also a few ways to choosewhat you want to see in a Teams meeting, like:
- Pinning the video: If you need to focus on a particular person during a video conference, right-click on the video you want to pin and select Pin.This keeps the video feed on your screen, no matter who’s talking.
- Switching between content: When a video presentation appears, you can switch between viewing the content and watching other people in the room. Click on the video you’re interested in to focus on a particular person or presentation.
- Reframing your video: If you want a different view of a specific video, right-click on the content and click fit to frame.Choose fill frameto get a closer, more cropped view.
In-meeting controls and what you can do with Microsoft Teams
As an admin, you’ll be able to use your Meetings settings to control plenty of factors, including whether anonymous people can join teams and more.
- Allow audio conferencing: With an audio conferencing license, people will be able to dial-in to your meetings from over 90 different countries.
- Set up a virtual lobby: Any attendees not in your organization will appear in a virtual lobby by default with Microsoft Teams. This allows you to choose who should have access to the conversation.
- Mute attendees: In large meetings, you can click on the Mute option on an attendee’s profile to stop them from disturbing other people in your group. You can also unmute them later, or mute everyone but yourself.
- Screen or application sharing: Click on the screen icon on your Microsoft Teams meeting to share your screen. If you only want to share a specific window or application, you can choose exactly how much to share.
- Interactive troubleshooting: Teams will automatically tell you if it detects any problems. For instance, you’ll get a notification if you’re trying to speak to your team when you’re muted.
- Call analytics and recordings: Clicking the … More Options button on Teams will allow you to record a meeting, which can be sent straight to your inbox after the discussion is finished. Microsoft also offers a range of analytics to help troubleshoot potential issues with your meetings too.
More from Microsoft Teams
Hopefully, this guide has presented itself useful for first-time or returning Microsoft Teams users and admins.
To start taking full advantage of Microsoft Teams, I’ve included our Microsoft Teams library that you and your team (no pun intended) should find useful:
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Last week Microsoft Teams celebrated its third anniversary and it’s been almost that long since the Quadrotech team has been using the service as our collaboration tool of choice.
While our team is well trained at utilizing the Microsoft Teams features (meetings, chat, channels, etc.), we recognize that many organizations, their admins, and end-users have been ‘thrown in the deep end’ so to speak with ‘shelter in place’ mandates and work from home initiatives due to Covid-19. And, for many organizations, implementing Microsoft Teams security best practices, may not have been top of mind.
In fact, the number of Microsoft Teams daily users grew by 12 million the week of March 16, 2020, and those users generated 900 million meetings and calling minutes on Teams each day that week.
Alongside the platform’s anniversary, new capabilities were announced with a focus on improving the online meeting experience and supplying solutions to Firstline workers (including healthcare workers). You can find an overview of new and upcoming improvements here.
Looking to help where we can, Paul Robichaux hosted a webinar to share his advice on getting remote workers up and running on Microsoft Teams as quickly as possible. This session covered five different ‘lessons’, including:
- Deciding ‘what good looks like’
- Setting up your network for success
- Setting up your Teams ‘skeleton’
- Coaching your users, quickly
- Improvising, adapting, and overcoming
While the session was mainly geared towards admins and business leaders implementing Microsoft Teams as a collaboration tool, there was one end-user tip that I think is hugely helpful for new-to-remote-working users – the Test Call functionality.
What is Test Call in Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams Test Meeting Mac
It’s pretty self-explanatory but Test Call makes a call to a bot and captures your audio and video so you can assess the quality and ensure your mic, speakers, and camera are set up properly in Microsoft Teams.
As a new work-from-home user, you may be faced with one or both of these scenarios:
- You are trying to set up new devices. Paul recommends using this feature each time you set up a new device or switch between audio/visual devices
- You have a constantly changing workspace. It’s a good idea to use Test Call if you’re moving your workspace location for a change of scenery or by necessity (from the living room to kitchen or home office for example). In this scenario, Test Call will help you determine if there’s an echo or loud fan in one room of your house or gives you fair warning that there’s a NSFW poster or personal info behind you from one angle, or perhaps a heap of laundry you don’t want your coworkers to see… If this does happen to be the case, look into the Blur Background Microsoft Teams feature!
How to use Test Call in Microsoft Teams
Accessing Test Call
You have two options: the Test Call Command, or through Settings.
Option A: Test Call Command/Shortcut
Type /testcall in the Teams search bar and hit Enter. The test call will start immediately.
Option B: Settings
Click on your picture/user icon in the top right corner and click Settings.
Navigate to the Devices option in the left column.
Click the Make a test call button.
After the beep, say a few test phrases and wait until the next beep. The captured audio will be played back for you to assess. You can also see your video preview; adjust your nearby lighting or the camera angle if necessary.
Microsoft Teams Test Meeting Download
After the call, you’ll receive your test call results. If everything is connected correctly, you’ll see the below screen:
If there are any issues with your audio/visual, you’ll get a red notice as in the below screen:
Microsoft Teams Test Meeting
Based on your results, you can make adjustments to your devices (go back to Settings >> Devices in Teams and check the audio settings on your computer) and retry to confirm your changes were successful.
Microsoft Teams Test Meeting Video
Hopefully, this Microsoft Teams feature will help you minimize stressors related to audio/visual technology while possibly lessening the load on your company’s help desk as they work through other issues.
Microsoft Teams Online Meeting Test
For more tips on maximizing Microsoft Teams, check out Randy Rempel’s guide on how to add custom background images.