Microsoft Teams is a versatile platform that can be as simple as internal chat or the center of your department’s productivity. People familiar with Teams are gaga over the video chat and conference call features. Significant improvements made in May of 2020 have made it easier to use this function to organize an online event such as a training session or webinar. Managing participants is an important part of making such an event successful, so we’ve created a brief overview of participant management features to familiarize yourself with for your next Teams meeting or event.
Letting participants in and showing them the door
Generally, if you are inviting people outside of your organization to your meeting they will have to wait in a virtual lobby to be let in. This is a default setting to prevent accidental or targeted intrusions on your calls. When this happens there will be a pop up in your actions tool bar that lets you know that someone is in the lobby. If you notice it on time, you can click it to allow them in. Alternatively, you can always let people in from the participants list view as seen below.
You may find the need to remove someone from your meeting. Organizers and panelists have the ability to boot someone out by right clicking their name and selecting remove participant.
Mute all participants
Let’s start with a quick and necessary addition to Teams meetings. The mute all feature allows you to silence the audio of every attendee and presenter with a single click. This ensures the person presenting is not interrupted by background noise or interjections from participants.
You can find the mute all option at the top of your participants list view.
Raising your hand in Teams meetings
The hand raise option is used in a lot of video conferencing and webinar platforms. This allow participants to flag that they want to speak or have some input without interrupting. In webinars, this is a great way to invite attendees and presenters to ask questions or provide relevant information without stopping the flow of the presentation.
Any participant can click the hand icon in the middle of their action bar to raise a hand. Organizers and panelists can see who raised their hand both on their video and in the participants list area next to their name.
Changing roles of attendees and panelists
It may be necessary at some point in your Teams meeting to bring an attendee on to act as a panelist, or transfer a panelist from being an active participant to a quiet observer. If you aren’t sure the differences between attendees and panelists, check out our article that describes what each role means.
Meeting options selected by the organizer will dictate who is automatically an attendee or a presenter. The default allows anyone in your company to join as a presenter and anyone outside your company to be admitted as an attendee.
To change meeting options, click the dot dot dot next to your time zone. The options page will open in a browser. Roles are assigned based on who can bypass the lobby, so choose whichever option is most appropriate for your type of meeting.
During the Teams meeting, you can switch someone from attendee to presenter. Start by going to the participants list, then right clicking the attendee’s name and selecting “make a presenter”. If you need someone to no longer have the control of a presenter, follow the same steps to “make an attendee”.
Ending a Teams meeting in a click
This updated feature simply allows the organizer to bring the meeting to an official close. Participants will not be able to remain in or rejoin the video chat after this button is clicked.
More uses for Teams
There is so much to explore in using Teams for your productivity and collaboration. Use Teams for any group including recreational team building or to replace all your business related conference calls. There are few wrong ways to use Teams, so try it out and see what works best for you.
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