October 9, 2020

Want to Become a Microsoft Teams Master?

Have a Virtual Meeting Coming Up? Need to Impress Your Team with your Microsoft Teams Skills?

Virtual meeting or video call software has become standard on almost everyone’s computer. When you went from the office to working from home in under 48 hours like most companies did. You were probably not thinking about which software you were going to primarily use. Some organizations have strict protocol on which one you must use. Other businesses are more relaxed about it. But you've probably found your favorite? And you most likely have strong opinions on why it’s the best. 

Microsoft Teams tends to get a bad rap. Compared to other top video calling software, they get tossed aside. In this article we are going to describe some features in Teams that you might not know about.

Surveys and Polls in Microsoft Teams:

So, you might not have known how to figure out polling in Teams, you can click this link here. to watch a video on how to do it. But we'll explain in here anyway. First you must add Microsoft Forms as an application within Teams. Just go to the left side of your main Teams screen. Find the three dots on the side bar menu underneath "Files." Then you have a search bar option come up. No Microsoft doesn't make it easy to find. But once you get here and search for "Forms" it will immediately pop up. Select it and hit the add button. Now, at the bottom of all your chat windows, you have a bunch of options below where you type. One of those options is now forms. It has a little "F" Icon that highlights green when you hover the cursor over it. This feature is enabled in all your chat windows, even in chat windows of your video conference calls. So, you can click it, and create a form. You can even go to Forms outside of Teams and pre-make a bunch of polls for future meetings you can re-use. Take that Zoom. 

Sharing Your Screen in Microsoft Teams:

We know that in other video call software you can share your screen. Most have this capability. But they all have different menus and ways of using this feature. First you want to be in a video call. You can call a friend or co-worker and just have them mute audio and video and leave the window open to practice. This is a good tip if you are hosting a meeting for the first time and want to see the call interface before you use it with an actual client or team meeting. In the top right-hand corner, you have a screen sharing option. This you can select, and it will pop up a menu on the bottom of your screen, this menu with have all the options of screen sharing. You can share your entire screen. Which is not recommended. This is because any notification or popup that shows on your screen will be shared to everyone in the meeting. If you have nothing to hide, that's fine go for it. But if someone sends you a private chat about something going on in the meeting, maybe Serge was using a cardboard cutout of himself and actually streaming live on Facebook his Fortnite game... you might not want the rest of your meeting to see that. The point is making sure to select the specific window you want to share. A Red box appears around it, and the meeting members can only see what’s in the window. You can of course at any point switch which window you are sharing in the same menu. Teams also has the option to share specific applications that are in the Microsoft Family, like Power Point. 

An Extra Little Tip: Making You Look Pro in a Meeting.

A secret that not many people know about is you can change the Camera input the Teams uses as a webcam. This means you can ditch the tiny Standard Definition camera and upgrade to a USB camera or something that will serve your Guests better than seeing you as a blurry blob on the screen. Most laptops now come with a Webcam and they are usually excellent quality. So, if you are working from home with a laptop and your happy with the setup you have. No need to change it. But if you want to look a bit more professional, and you have an HDMI DSLR or HD USB webcam laying around. You can setup these items and make yourself look closer to a news broadcaster. Although, most talk show hosts also had standard definition webcams. It was tough for everyone. So, don't feel too badly if your quality is still not HD. Sadly if you have an internal webcam and it’s not that great of quality. The only option to upgrade is either to get rid of the laptop and get a new one with a better camera or get an external device.

This has been three quick tips on how to host a Teams Meeting and look like a pro. Reading about these tips is one thing. But, watching through a playlist of videos on YouTube of how to use Teams completely is another. We are always adding videos to these playlists, so if you can't figure something out one week, most likely the week after we'll have a video out about it. To watch one tutorial on Teams you can scroll to the top of the page and watch. For the full playlist you can click here

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