The before-during-after guide
A majority of workers say they have more meetings today than they did 10 years ago, and more than half of those (56%) are either virtual or a combination of virtual and in-person. But are meetings getting better? We surveyed more than 3,000 people across geographies and generations to understand the biggest problems with everyday meetings, and how they can be resolved.
Share your meeting agenda
The first step for a successful meeting is getting participants on the same page, whether they’re located across the building or around the world. Preparing an agenda and clearly defined meeting goals ahead of time can increase engagement. Solutions like Microsoft Teams, which combines meeting, messaging, and calling services, can also help.
When you send out your Microsoft Teams invite, make sure to include the agenda, ideally 24 to 48 hours before the designated time. (And if you’re the recipient of a Teams meeting invite, read it!)
Invite internal and external partners to join your meeting
Need to connect with someone outside your organization? No problem. Unlike many other meeting apps that require plug-ins, Microsoft Teams lets you invite anyone with a valid business or personal email address.
Recipients don’t need to download Teams to join the meeting. They just click on the link in the email invite, enter their name and join the meeting instantly on the supported web browser. Even better, no plug-in is needed!
Access previous meeting notes and recordings for more context
If it’s a recurring meeting, you can easily access previous meeting notes and recordings in the same Teams meeting thread. And you can chat with other invitees before the meeting to update them on relevant topics.
Use Microsoft Teams Rooms to start your meeting right away
There’s nothing worse than fumbling with conference room equipment and starting your meeting late. Microsoft Teams Rooms helps to provide a consistent user experience for all your spaces. From small huddles to large conference rooms, you can start your meetings on time with just one touch. The rich collaboration experience keeps remote and in-person attendees engaged, and you can easily share your content wirelessly.
Make any space work for you and explore different spaces. Try Microsoft Teams devices.
Record your meeting
Written minutes or a recording give your meeting a legacy and let people who couldn’t attend catch up later. They can also help resolve conflicts about outcomes or action items.
When you record meetings, Teams captures the audio, video, and screen sharing activity. There’s also an option to create an automatic transcription. During playback, closed captions of the transcript appear on screen, making it easy to search for important discussion items. Recordings happen in the cloud, are saved to Microsoft Stream, and are automatically shared with attendees.
Adjust settings before you join
Enabling your video camera for meetings provides a personal touch that can enhance your connection, and a meeting’s effectiveness. But it can also be distracting. So before joining a meeting with video, stop and consider:
- Is your background full of visual distractions? Use Background blur.
- Lots of noise in the background? Mute your mic.
- Need to step away or divert your attention? Turn off the camera, mute your mic, and switch to listen only.
Share your content and collaborate easily
Tight integration with Office 365 apps makes Microsoft Teams ideal for working with your colleagues in real time. Once you’ve shared a document from your desktop or Teams files, high-fidelity screen sharing ensures a great viewing experience for everyone. Co-editing in Word means they can all weigh in, helping streamline approvals. Attendees can also share feedback alongside the document using chat. And with the power of AI, Teams can translate these conversations into 60 languages in real time, keeping everyone on the same page.
Use integrated audio conferencing for attendees without Internet
Not everyone has easy access to the Internet, especially when on the road. Calling in from a phone is one option, but that’s just another device to keep track of. With Microsoft Teams, participants can call in directly.
Audio Conferencing in Teams supports dial-in numbers in 90+ countries and 400+ cities. You can also dial out to add attendees using their phone number.
Share meeting recordings and meeting notes
Meeting recaps can be a valuable way to re-engage participants. You can capture notes in the Meeting Notes tab or follow up with a brief summary in the Microsoft Teams project channel. Include a recording of the meeting if more details are needed.
Remind participants of next steps, and call out any key takeaways, deadlines, or decisions. You can also use the recap as an open-ended way to ask for more collaboration and input from anyone who couldn’t attend.
Schedule follow-up meetings if needed
A meeting’s effectiveness is best measured by the follow-up and outcome. Before the meeting is over, schedule another, if necessary, to answer any outstanding questions and clarify next steps.
It’s time to run more productive meetings.
What can Microsoft Team be used for?
Microsoft Teams features make it stand out from other collaboration software:
- Teams and channels. Teams are made up of channels, which are conversation boards between teammates.
- Conversations within channels and teams. All team members can view and add to different conversations in the General channel and can use an @ function to invite other members to different conversations, not unlike Slack.
- A chat function. The basic chat function is commonly found within most collaboration apps and can take place between teams, groups, and individuals.
- Document storage in SharePoint. Every team who uses Microsoft Teams will have a site in SharePoint Online, which will contain a default document library folder. All files shared across all conversations will automatically save to this folder. Permissions and security options can also be customized for sensitive information.
- Online video calling and screen sharing. Enjoy seamless and fast video calls to employees within your business or clients outside your business. A good video call feature is great to have on a collaboration platform. One can also enjoy simple and fast desktop sharing for technical assistance and multi-user real-time collaboration.
- Online meetings. This feature can help enhance your communications, company-wide meetings, and even training with an online meetings function that can host up to 10,000 users. Online meetings can include anyone outside or inside a business. This feature also includes a scheduling aid, a note-taking app, file uploading, and in-meeting chat messaging.
- Audio conferencing. This is a feature you won’t find in many collaboration platforms. With audio conferencing, anyone can join an online meeting via phone. With a dial-in number that spans hundreds of cities, even users that are on the go can participate with no internet required. Note this requires additional licensing.
- Full telephony. That’s right! The days of seeking VoIP vendors and overspending on a phone system are finally over. Microsoft 365 Business Voice can completely replace your business’ existing phone system. Note this requires additional licensing.
To put it simply, Microsoft Teams is similar in concept to the popular collaboration software Slack with a lot more bells and whistles. Plus, Microsoft Teams is included in Microsoft365 and Office365 for free.