As a change from my usual blogs about the features available in Microsoft products this is aimed more at how to use the software effectively in general to manage a successful Teams Meeting.
Since March 2020 online meeting software has become a staple for many businesses with Microsoft Teams being one of the top players. If used correctly meetings online can be as effective as face to face and here we are going to look at some tactics to do just that.
Setting the rules
Depending on the size of the meeting, if not managed correctly, it can become a free for all. With people talking over each other, some individuals dominating the meeting and others unable to get a word in it is not a great experience.
What works in a small meeting may not work successfully in a large meeting and vice-versa so different tactics need to be employed depending on the circumstances.
One option is to have everyone unmuted for the whole meeting, interjecting as they feel appropriate. In a small meeting this can work really well but be aware of issues that may occur with background noises distracting from the meeting content. I’m sure we have all heard the random dog, child or doorbell at the most inopportune moment! I have a bird who tends to wolf whistle when he thinks you are talking to him which can be amusing to explain!
A similar alternative is to get everyone muted and only unmute when they are ready to speak. This does cause a slight delay from wanting to speak and talking but is normally easily manageable.
With larger meetings a more structured approach is often required. The meeting organiser can set up rules for meeting attendees to follow if they want to have input into the meeting.
An option is using the new raise hand feature. The meeting organiser keeps an eye for raised hands and invites individuals to unmute to talk and remute after they have finished. This prevents people talking over the top of each other.
Another choice is to get attendees to stay muted and put any comments into the meeting chat with the organiser checking these at key points and answering all related questions at that time. This works particularly well when new information is being learnt and naturally sits into separate topic areas. Taking this to the extreme Microsoft Teams has a Live meeting option which is designed specifically for larger webinars with attendees ability to unmute being removed and the only way to communicate being a Q&A option.
With some meetings likely to stay online for the foreseeable future, and effective communication being vital for all businesses, getting software like Microsoft Teams working for us is vital.