12 Days of Microsoft Teams | Day 11

Microsoft Teams Meeting Best Practices for Organizers & Attendees

Welcome to Day 11 of PixelMill’s ‘12 Days of Microsoft Teams’ series! Let’s be honest: meetings can be a real drag. Today’s tip offers you several ways to make meetings more effective and enjoyable. Enjoy!

Best Practices for Organizers and Attendees

If your organization is anything like the bulk of the working world, you’ve got a meeting or two on your schedule. Microsoft Teams offers many features to make the most of your meeting time. Whether you’re an organizer or an attendee this list of best practices will make you a digital meeting pro.

 

Scheduling

Just like in Outlook, Scheduling Assistant allows you to see all attendees availability in one place so you can be sure to set a meeting time that works for everyone. You can always record and share with a team member if they are unable to attend.

 

Channel vs. Private Meeting

This, of course, depends on your organization and Teams structure, but as a general rule, a private meeting is reserved for confidential information not associated with a channel. If the meeting is related to the channel, it’s best to keep it there so that all channel team members can join the meeting, revisit the recording, and see meeting notes.

 

Always Set an Agenda

This may seem tedious, but time is precious, and if you have difficulty writing a valuable agenda, perhaps the meeting’s purpose and validity should be in question. An agenda helps the team prepare, keeps your meeting on task, and if someone questions whether they need to be on the call, an agenda can help them determine that.

 

Assign a Note Taker

Get the most out of your meeting by assigning a notetaker to summarize the call. Teams meetings offers a Meeting Notes feature for this very reason. If the meeting is associated with a channel, the notes will display in the meeting Notes tab, granting everyone in the channel access to important notes.

Notes should always include:

– Decisions made

– Next steps/Action Items

 

Prepare Your Guests for What to Expect

With more and more people working remote, video conferencing has become a valuable tool, enabling face-to-face communication in the digital workspace. After all, so much of communication is non-verbal. I’m a huge proponent for video in team meetings; it encourages team bonding, makes us feel more connected, and helps us multi-taskers focus on the session in progress. However, I’m the first to admit that on days when I’m working from home, I want some heads up if I’m expected to be ‘on camera’ for a call. So, as a host, prepare your attendees ahead of time. Along the same lines, if you expect a team member to share their screen during the call, prepare them ahead of time, so they have the necessary items ready.

 

Look Great on Your Video Meeting

We all want to look our best, especially on camera. Check this list before your next call to put your best face forward.

 

Lights! 

Avoid overhead lighting, or counter-act it with lights in front and behind you. Overhead lighting causes shadows under your eyes, and nobody has time for that! If your room has a window make sure you’re facing it and it’s not behind you, or close up those blinds.

 

Camera!

It’s all about the angles. Your lens should be at eye level, or slightly above. We aren’t going for that crazy selfie angle here (you don’t want it to feel like your team is towering above you). If you’re using a built-in camera, we suggest lowering your hair or raising the laptop on something to bring it up to eye level for your call.

 

Action!

Don’t be this guy…

Avoid this one with a click! To start a meeting with background blur, move the blur slider—the one to the right of the video slider—to the right on the Choose your audio and video settings screen when you’re joining the meeting. Note: this only works for scheduled meetings.

To turn on background blur during a meeting, click more options (…) —-> Blur my background.

Note: Not all devices support background blur yet.

 

Stay Muted Unless You’re Talking

This one speaks for itself. If you’re not speaking, be sure you’re muted so you don’t cause unwanted distractions or feedback during the call (especially if several attendees are in the same room).

 
Looking to make the most of Microsoft Teams, but don’t know where to start? Have no fear! Chat with a PixelMill Teams expert today! 

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