Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular professional applications this year, and for good reason. Whether you’re new to Teams or a Teams pro looking for some extra helpful hints, we’ll run you through how to set up a video conference on Teams and get started.

What is Microsoft Teams used for?

Microsoft Teams, a part of the Microsoft 365 product family, is a collaborative workplace and business communication platform where you can connect with colleagues online. You can use Teams to create video and audio conferences, text-based chat, file sharing, collaborative editing, scheduling, and creating channels. From job interviews and onboarding sessions to training programs and external meetings, you can use Teams for just about anything – all you need is a laptop, PC, mobile phone, or tablet, and an internet connection.

How do you set up a video conference on Microsoft Teams?

  1. As the host of the meeting, you need to have an account on Microsoft. If you haven’t already, create an account and sign in. Note that your participants don’t necessarily have to have an account to attend your meetings and can sign in as a guest. However, if you want to restrict who the participants are, you can do so (more on this below).
  2. After opening the application, click on ‘Meet’ in the top right corner.
  3. To schedule a meeting, click on “Schedule a meeting.” Here, you can add a title, send invitations to attendees, meeting details, and set a date and time. While setting a time, pay attention to the time zone.
  4. You can also create a channel for the meeting so attendees have a common channel to discuss details.
  5. “Meet now” lets you create an instant meeting where you can change the title of the meeting, check audio and video settings, turn audience audio on or off, and join the meeting.

What special features can you use on Microsoft Teams?

As organiser, you also get to use special features on the meeting menu.

Screen sharing: With screen sharing, you let certain participants share their whole (or a part of their) screen with the rest of the meeting. We recommend turning screen sharing off for all participants so that you can pick who gets to share their media. With screen sharing, you can also choose which part of the screen is shared – from one tab, one window, or the whole screen.

Show participants: This lets you view the list of participants in the meeting room. You can mute others and add more people to the meeting by sharing the link to the current meeting.

Show conversation: This lets you access the meeting chat. Here, you can enable file sharing so that participants can share documents and collaborate in real-time.

More options: The three dots to the right of ‘show conversation’ give you a host of options. The following are the most important options for meeting organisers:

Meeting options: Here, you can adjust lobby settings so that you can monitor who enters your meeting. Craig from MSP Blueshift advises, “You can also restrict others from unmuting and presenting media during the meeting. This feature is particularly useful when you have to organise webinars or presentations.”  

Meeting notes: This feature allows you to share all the notes made during the meeting with the participants via the chat feature.

Live captions: Live captions use AI voice recognition to create real-time subtitles and make the meeting more inclusive. However, note that this feature is available only in English (for now), and may not work well if participants do not speak clearly.

Meeting recording: This feature lets you record the audio and video of the meeting and share it with participants through the Files menu in Teams. You can also restrict other participants from recording the meeting themselves. Note that participants will be notified that the meeting is recorded.  

Turn off incoming video: With this feature, you can automatically turn off the video of participants as they join. This comes in handy when you have to organise seminars with a large number of participants.

How do you use breakout rooms on Teams?

To create breakout rooms or sub-meetings on Teams, choose the breakout room option near the chat button. Pro tip: if you don’t see the breakout room option, go to Profile – General Settings –Turn on new meeting experience, and then restart teams.

Select the number of rooms you need. Then, you can either assign participants automatically or manually select participants for each room. If you want to set up a Teams strategy for your corporation including preset breakout rooms, send us an email – we provide support for Microsoft 365!

The bottom line

In today’s digital age, it is important to have a reliable way to communicate with both clients and colleagues remotely. With more than 100 million active users, Teams helps people all over the world connect and communicate from the comfort of their remote workplaces. Now that you know how to use this platform to create video conferences, you’re all set to take your remote experience to the next level!