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Get the most from your meetings with Microsoft Teams

Published Oct 11 2019 08:00 AM 36.7K Views

Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts focused on helping you get the most out of your meetings with Microsoft Teams. Every day millions of people around the world rely on Teams to communicate better through meetings, calls and chat. In this series, we share best practices and highlight new communication features in Teams designed to help you and your teams stay connected and accomplish more together.


Meetings have always been a cornerstone of teamwork. In fact, meetings are so vital that 37 percent of employee time is spent in meetings and many attend over 60 meetings a month.1 But are we getting the most out of every meeting?


All too often, people come to meetings unprepared because it takes too much time to find and review pre-meeting materials. During the meeting, it’s often a struggle, especially for remote participants, to fully engage and feel included, especially if they’re struggling to see or hear what’s being discussed. Afterwards, the value of meetings further diminishes when important insights—like decisions and action items—fall between the cracks from one meeting to the next.


To help get the most out of meetings, we need to change the way we think about meetings. Today, a meeting is treated as a stand-alone event, and the phone and video conferencing tools many people use are designed to support that event. But our extensive user research tells us two things: first, meetings are rarely discrete events, but a series of collaborative connections; and secondly, great meetings are not just about what happens during the meeting, but also before and after.


Microsoft Teams was built with this holistic approach as the central guiding principle for developing meetings. We treat meetings as an ingredient of collaboration that relies on a series of connections until the project is complete. Teams keeps all the relevant meeting content and discussions in one place so that participants can spend less time hunting down information and stay focused and engaged before, during and after meetings. Here’s what this looks like in practice:


A lot of meetings prep is about content, context and conversation. This is now made simpler because every Teams Meeting comes with a persistent conversation. Microsoft Teams surfaces this information easily and conveniently in the context of your meeting. People can have discussions about the meeting beforehand and bring those conversations into the meeting without losing context. And since Teams is the hub for teamwork in Office 365, your Teams Meetings are held where your chats and files live, naturally bringing this context into your meeting.


Once the meeting begins, people can use a variety of features that help focus attention, drive engagement, and foster inclusion. These include high-fidelity audio and video, live captions, rich real-time co-authoring with Office 365 apps, digital whiteboard, and distraction-free backgrounds. Teams also makes it easy to bring in participants outside your organization, even if they don’t have an Office 365 account. They can join using the Teams app or through most web browsers because Teams has full WebRTC support for meetings and calling. For those that may not have a fully supported browser, Teams offers a lightweight meeting join experience


After the meeting, all the related assets – including the recording of the meeting, chat, meeting notes, digital whiteboard, transcript, and shared files are saved in a persistent conversation that helps the team continue the discussion and drive work forward. Nothing gets lost in the cracks. Teams makes it easy to review the recording of the meeting by enabling people to search for keywords and quickly jump to the point in the recording where a specific topic was discussed.  Never miss the meeting, even if you missed the meeting!


Animation showing a keyword search of a Microsoft Teams meeting transcript and jumping to the point in time of the meeting where it was mentioned.Animation showing a keyword search of a Microsoft Teams meeting transcript and jumping to the point in time of the meeting where it was mentioned.

We’re excited to tell you more about how you can use Teams to get the most out of your meetings. Stay tuned for other topics.


Get more from your meetings today with Microsoft Teams Meetings, try it now.


One of the most essential best practices for meetings in Teams is also one of the least obvious...replying to existing conversations with a scheduled meeting. No one figures that out on their own. Very poor design.

Good writeup which, however, highlights that the opportunities to prepare participants before the meeting are a bit scarce.


The introduction states that people tend to come to meetings unprepared because meeting materials are too time consuming to find. I feel like this experience in teams still has some potential for improvement. 


What if there was a welcome page, where participants could see basic info about the meeting, any materials uploaded, an agenda, aso. Have this page presented instead of the one that shows the option to join via browser or desktop app, but have those options on the page as well.


Finally security and privacy should be considered as well, you can't have an open link that anyone can access, if theres goibg to be confidential matetial available, neother before or after the meeting. 


Thank you, John and Allan, for providing pain points and areas for improvement within Teams -- we value your feedback and continuously strive to better understand the needs of our users.


As we continue to evolve the product, we are consistently looking at ways in which we can educate our customers on how to get the most out of Teams, and in this instance, how to best take advantage of our meetings lifecycle.  We will be sharing additional information on these tips and tricks at Ignite in November.  If you aren't planning to attend in person, I invite you to watch the sessions on-demand.

Senior Member

I agree with the above comments. We use Teams very heavily in our business, especially since a third of our employees are remote, therefore most meetings end up being teams meetings. Unfortunately, most of our users just don't realize that these features exist. For the most part, the only employees utilizing the continually active chat and resources are people utilizing recurring meetings since the persistent chat is right in front of them each meeting. I've been working to encourage people to even make local meetings teams meetings to take advantage of these features, but unfortunately, there's still a stigma that teams meetings are only useful connecting people who aren't physically in the office.

Occasional Visitor

Thanks for the synopsis, guys! This is a great 5-minute start to some meetings I've been in where the participants have no real idea of how to hold a Modern Meeting with Teams. I'm packaging this for a meeting start-up level-set. Thanks for the resource!

Senior Member

Perhaps its worth also considering a blog on when should a meeting be a Live Event?


We have far too many people in our org struggling with deciding what to use! They use meetings with a number of attendees that want to ask questions and have to trawl through pages and pages of chat to find them! (perhaps there should be a "?" emoji?)


I would welcome some sort of chart that details when you should use one instead of the other.



Occasional Visitor

Very much second the idea of a chart to show feature matrix of Meetings / Live Events.

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