Best Meeting Features Of Microsoft Teams
Over the past few years, Microsoft has gone forth and added a host of brand-new capabilities to Teams, its video conferencing hub, and chat. It has also focused specifically on improving video meetings with co-workers and other colleagues. Here is a great rundown of the top four brand-new features that you need to know about and how you can use them.
Please note that this guide refers to the Microsoft Teams desktop app for both macOS and Windows included with Office365/Microsoft365 business and education subscriptions. Some of these features noted may not be offered to you.
1. Breakout Rooms
Essentially, breakout rooms are tiny meeting rooms that have been associated with a bigger meeting at one point. Every single breakout room has many of the usual meeting features that include both video feeds and participant audio, screen-sharing capabilities, and a chat pane.
If you have a small team that you need to speak and present within a meeting, they can often benefit from conferring and prepping with each other in a separate breakout room while the larger meeting is taking place. In another scenario, you can put all meeting participants into separate breakout rooms in order to facilitate smaller discussions before implementing everyone back into the main meeting.
In order to set up breakout rooms, you will need to be a presenter or meeting organizer who has breakout room manager privileges. During a meeting, you can easily access this feature by clicking on the breakout rooms icon which is a smaller square on top of a larger square in the upper right corner of the meeting window.
This will then open up a panel in which you can create one or more breakout rooms and either manually assigns people to a meeting or have the assignments made automatically. Instead of this, you can also set up breakout rooms before a meeting when you open the meeting invite in Teams and select breakout rooms, and then create rooms.
Breakout rooms are excellent for managers as they are able to set time limits, rename breakout rooms, enter and leave various rooms, send announcements, and so much more. This feature is definitely one of the best.
2. Improved Whiteboard
Teams has always had a great integration with the Microsoft Whiteboard app which allows meeting participants to collaborate on a shared virtual whiteboard in real-time. Team members are able to add images, text, notes, diagrams, sketches, and so much more to a board. In fact, the recently revamped version of this template is even better than before.
There are a host of improvements that include the ability to insert documents and images, more than 40 new templates, numerous inking tool enhancements, and reaction icons. In order to launch the Whiteboard app while in a meeting, you will need to click the share content icon at the upper right of the meeting window.
This panel will open the Microsoft Whiteboard. Outside of meetings, you can easily add the Whiteboard app to any of your Teams channels. All you need to do is open the channel, click the + icon at the top, and an add a tab pane will open.
From there, you will need to click the Whiteboard icon. Another pane will then open that asks you to type in a name for the whiteboard. Then, click the save button on your lower right and your new whiteboard will be added to the chosen channel. You can even add a helpful whiteboard to the chat.
You can begin by opening the chat. From there, the whiteboard may already be listed as a tab alongside the top of the chat window. If the Whiteboard is listed as a tab, click it to launch the Whiteboard app.
If it isn’t listed anywhere at the top of your chat, then you will need to click the + icon and follow the same steps above for adding a whiteboard to a channel.
3. Live Transcription
Teams has always offered text transcripts of recorded meetings after the meetings have ceased. This has been a useful feature alongside AI-driven text captioning that shows what meeting participants are saying in real-time. A newer capability for live transcription combines these two excellent features and offers a Transcript sidebar that shows everything said within the meeting complete with a speaker attribution.
Live transcriptions are excellent as they help those who are unable to hear well or are not completely fluent in the language being spoken in the meeting. It is also great for anyone who arrives late. Will be able to quickly catch up while scrolling back through the Transcript sidebar.
After the meeting is over, the complete transcript will be available. To begin, you will need to start the live transcription of the meeting by clicking the three-dot icon which is more actions at the upper right of the meeting window. From that menu that opens, click start transcription.
Meeting participants will then receive a notification saying that the meeting is transcribed. Instead of this, if you record a meeting, live transcription will automatically turn at the same time if you click the more actions icon and select start recording.
After a meeting has ended, you will be able to find a detailed summary of it in the chat group that has been automatically created for the meeting. In the left sidebar, click the chat icon. The second column will have the finished meeting title which you will need to click on.
From there, the recap window will include the notes taken, chat text, and files that were shared during the meeting as well as a video recording and transcription if they were created. If you are the organizer, you will also receive an attendance report.
The Bottom Line
These features only prove how excellent Microsoft Teams really is. It is an amazing tool for many people who are looking to make a difference and enjoy the best new features on the market. You will be able to enjoy live transcriptions, meeting recaps, improved whiteboard, breakout rooms, and so many more excellent features.
If you’d like to learn more about these features or if you need some help, Esoftware can help you! We are always here with our team of Microsoft professionals just waiting to help out. Schedule a consultation now to get started!