Do You Hear What I Hear? | Tips for Enjoyable & Effective Teams Meetings

All the worlds a stage, and much like a production of Annie, an effective meeting needs a director to wrangle the cast, que the lights, direct the action, and bring it all together. Virtual meetings are here to stay, so we put together some tips for making the most of your Microsoft Teams meetings no matter your role.

To Meet, Perchance to Dream of a productive meeting in Teams…

Pre Show: 

Tip 1: Select your Stage 🎪 

Decide which type of meeting is right for you. You have several options, including ad hock meetings, private meetings, or channel meetings. Here at PixelMill, we opt to hold channel meetings whenever possible for transparency, but each option has some pros and cons. Spoiler alert…Day 4’s post breaks this all down!   


Tip 2: Stage Direction please! 📝 

A meeting without an agenda can feel like watching a bunch of actors without a script (and unless you’re Wayne Brady, nobody needs to witness that). Set your team up to succeed. Set an agenda and allow your team members to provide feedback and build it with you to ensure all voices are heard and covered topics. This also enables your team to the proper time to prepare OR even opt-out. Many of us are experiencing meeting fatigue, and if a team member can get some focused time back, we owe it to them!   


Showtime Tips: 

Tip 3: Don’t upstage yourself 🎭 

Blur your background or customize it in preview mode before entering the meeting so you can make a grand entrance. Oops, did you forget to blur and need to in a snap? Just hit Ctrl+Shift+P and Teams has your back! Blur simply won’t do? Quick turn that camera off with shortcut Ctrl+Shift+O.   


Tip 4: Stage Whispers Please 🙊 

Stay muted unless you’re talking. One never knows when that furry coworker 🐶 napping under your desk might hear the postman approaching. 


Tip 5: Applause!! 👏 

There’s nothing worse than performing to a dead audience. So, while we are muted to keep people from being distracted, you can still encourage the speaker with reactions!  


Tip 6: Script it. 📃 

If possible, turn on transcription for your meeting. This way, users can search for specific content from the call and drill into the part of the meeting they might have missed.  


Tip 7: Get in the Limelight 🔦 

If there is a primary presenter, feature that person so the team can all see them in frame. You can do this by right-clicking the video you want to spotlight and select Spotlight twice to confirm. 


Tip 8: Wait in the Wings 🙋 

It can be difficult not to talk over a team member when meeting groups get large, so we love to take advantage of the raise your hand feature to ensure everyone gets a voice. 


Tip 9: Set the Scene 🏢 

Choose the right layout for your call based on its style and number of attendees. There are several options available now, including gallery, large gallery (up to 49 people visible at once!), and together mode (which is only available with teams of five or more).  


Tip 10: Break out! 👥 

Many large meetings can feel like ‘too many cooks’. So, break out into small groups to tackle topics and regroup to level set. You can create and start breakout rooms in the meeting controls.  


Tip 11: Hold the Stage  

If you’re screen sharing, be sure to Zoom in. Don‘t make them squint! To zoom in a flash, hit Ctrl+= to zoom in or Ctrl+- to zoom out.  


Tip 12: Cue the Hook…  

Use the 5-minute warning alert from Teams as your cue to wrap up with success. Review decisions made, and make a list of action items with responsible parties and due dates. 


Post Show Tips: 

Tip 13: Capture the moment! 🤳 

Don’t let all that productivity end in the meeting. Now that you’ve captured your meeting summary and action items post them or shoot them off to the necessary team members. We love using the Meeting Capture PowerApp to streamline thisThis easy-to-configure application captures meetings notes and assigns follow-up tasks for the team. When the meeting ends, it posts the notes directly into OneNote, adds the tasks to Microsoft Planner, and emails the entire team, including the client. This has been an enormous time-saver for Project Management and ensures everyone is on the same page at the end of a meeting.


For more tips for holding effective meetings, check out our post Use M365 to Bring ROP (Return on Participation) to Your Virtual Meetings. Did we miss a showstopping tip? Share in the comments! And if you’re looking to leverage Teams meetings and need some assistance, one of our Microsoft 365 experts would love to chat with you today! 

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