Boosting the Effectiveness of your MS Teams Meeting – Transcription

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Dharmesh Patel’s webinar, Boosting the Effectiveness of your MS Teams Meeting, being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Melanie: Welcome to Boosting Your Effectiveness with MS Teams. Please join in today using the questions chat window. You can click and drag that window out and expand it so it’s easier to use. Today, I’d like to introduce our organizer, Dharmesh Patel. Dharmesh is a season technical project manager with over 15 years’ experience using and implementing Microsoft technologies. He has worked for various large multinational organizations, including sectors such as finance e-commerce and technology, as well as continued engagement with Microsoft. We personally met, we were just talking maybe 15 years ago, maybe 12 years ago, he was managing the MPUG London Chapter for a little while. Welcome, thank you for being with us today.

Dharmesh: Thanks Mel, hi. Hello everybody. My name is Dharmesh Patel. Mel, shall I start? Shall I start by sharing my screen?

Melanie: Yes.

Dharmesh: Super. Super. Thank you very much, everyone for attending today. As Mel mentioned, my name is Dharmesh Patel and today I will be covering tips, tricks, and clicks to effectively boosting the effectiveness of your MS Teams meeting, especially in the new hybrid world that we work in, where we’re not always in the office using Microsoft Teams or sorry, hosting meetings. Microsoft Teams is our new friend in running meetings effectively, especially where you are running projects.

Dharmesh: The agenda for today, and the learning outcomes from today’s session will be defining the 4Ws of meetings. So why, what, who, when. And when I organize meetings, it’s just some basic housekeeping that I follow when organizing meetings. From that, we’ll go into optimizing your meeting experience with Microsoft Teams. So I’ll give you a quick tour of Microsoft Teams and some of the meeting features. Looking at some of the tools and features within Microsoft Teams to ensuring when running your meeting, you effectively can take notes, capture comments from your team, or your participants, and some of the cool features which Microsoft have bought out as part of Microsoft Teams. For example, capturing notes, live capturing during meetings, and breakout rooms.

Dharmesh: We’ll then go on to the best way of running a meeting and moderating and capturing meeting notes. So how should you use video? Like today, I’m using video during the kick up of this call and I’ll go through this in a bit more detail of some of the potential rules that you can use when you are running meetings. Looking at some of the other tools which integrate with Microsoft Teams for taking notes, for example, OneNote, how can that help? And also, some of the cool features with Microsoft have, for example, real time transcript as well.

Dharmesh: And then finally, once you run your meeting, what do you have to help follow up on actions and making sure that you have a reference point for those? So, managing follow up actions, be that in one know, some of the real time transcript features which are out, having the ability to record meetings. And then finally, managing your time and some of the call analytic features, which Microsoft have as part of the overall Office 365 Suite.

Dharmesh: What I will do is, during the presentation, I’m going to turn off my camera for during the presentation. I know that sometimes there may be some bandwidth issue here, and I’ll turn it back on at the end of the presentations when taking any questions. And as we go through, if there are any questions, please use the Q&A panel to post any questions. Super.

Dharmesh: So the first part, and I mentioned the 4Ws, why are we having this meeting today? It’s always very good to have a clear purpose, so setting the purpose for the meeting to ensure your attendees are clear of the reason for attending that particular session. What are you really looking to achieve? So having a clear agenda, understanding what are you going to be covering in that meeting, B, is it a sprint review meeting, or is it a planning session? What are the key items that you’re going to be covering during that session?

Dharmesh: This helps attendees who are going to attend ensure they have a clear idea on why they’re attending that. Who should attend? The attendee list when you are setting your meetings, should be carefully selected to match the agenda. So if it’s a particular sprint planning session, ensuring your core team members are there to assist with planning, or if it’s on a particular topic area, ensuring that there’s representation from each of the areas to make sure the meeting is attended well.

Dharmesh: And when? So again, this is important. When is the meeting and what is the length? One key learning that I’ve had during my time is understanding that we do not underestimate the time needed. So set up a meeting, setting up a meeting without impacting your daily work schedule as well. So making sure that actually when you’re setting it up, you are actually able to prepare for the meeting, and you’re not running back to back.

Dharmesh: And finally, I guess there’s a fifth W which is where… And that’s meetings are not changing. So there’s a hybrid model in terms of running and hosting of meetings. And you’ll see this in various organized organizations where they’re adopting the phrase, modern way of working, where actually it’s more of a hybrid model. So you will have so some attendees who will be in the office and some attendees who will be from various locations, especially more international organizations.

Dharmesh: One of the key elements of the modern way of working is around making a level playing field for of the attendees of the meetings. So be it, you are not there in person with your other colleagues, ensuring that the meeting experience still runs well. And that may mean by having the right technology within your organization to allow for the meetings to run effectively.

Dharmesh: Moving into the first topic for today, optimizing the meeting experience. What I’ll do is part of this section of the presentation is, we’ll go through some of the meeting experience features, and I’ll start with a short demo of Microsoft teams. We’ll go through the video experience as well. And then, we’ll go through some of the rules around what happens when you are inviting someone who’s an external attendee from your organization and how can you control what they do and what they can see?

Dharmesh: First of all, I’m going to actually just leave the presentation, and I’ll go back. And first of all, what I’m going to do is go to Microsoft Teams, and from my calendar, what I’m going to do is start a new meeting. Now, either I can schedule one, or this is for demonstration purposes, I’m just going to start one, to take you through some of the features of Microsoft Teams and meetings.

Dharmesh: When I start this meeting, and I’m going to leave this as this is demo, I’m just leaving this in mute at the moment, mute at the camera, and mute up at the moment. You can see that I’ve got various options along the top, where I can see who is in my meeting. I can chat with other colleagues, there’s a reaction, and there’s another feature which is called breakout rooms. And I will discuss this in greater detail shortly. What I’m also able to do, and there’s various options that you can see, which will enable me to make sure my external device be a headset or a speaker, is set up correctly to other options which include taking meeting notes and I’ll cover off some of those features shortly.

Dharmesh: There’s also various features of, if I had my camera enabled, how I would view that with my other attendees or colleagues on the call. There are other features as well, which I have screenshots off and I will come back to my presentation. One is turning on live captions, what that does, and Microsoft have done a really good job with this is, as the meeting is running at the bottom, it would transcribe what I am saying at the bottom of the screen. That can also be used in different languages.

Dharmesh: So, if within a multinational organization, I was speaking in English and my Spanish colleagues were on the call. Whatever I am saying would be translated into Spanish. There is also the option to record meetings. And on recording, what that will also do is start a feature, which is called transcription. As transcription, as we are discussing the meeting, the transcription would automatically take notes for me during the meeting and document that for me to download at the end.

Dharmesh: Now, if I go into some of the features of running a meeting, and one of them being meeting notes. So if I go into meeting notes here, you can see I get a panel here, which lets me select the option to take notes. Now, when I hit, take notes, what this does is it takes me into… What this does is take me into Microsoft Teams within the chat area. And you can see here, I’ve got the ability to take notes, and these notes that I am typing here would also be the visible to other attendees of the meeting.

Dharmesh: As I am typing here, other attendees of the meeting would also be able to see this and contribute to the notes section. You will also see at the top that there are various other options for meetings. First, and the one that we’ve seen is the chat feature. So as the meeting is running, it could be that someone has shared link to a particular article, or there’s general notes in here which are useful to share with other attendees.

Dharmesh: I’ve also got a file section where I can share links to, and upload files here from either OneDrive or SharePoint, or on my own computer. We’ve got meeting notes here. And as I mentioned, all of this will be visible by the other attendees of the meeting. I have another feature, which is whiteboard. Whiteboard is a virtual whiteboard, which me and other meeting attendees are able to collaborate on together. Microsoft are enhancing the features within white board on a regular basis.

Dharmesh: One of the new features that they have enabled with whiteboard, so it’s possible for me to pick up a pen and start writing on here, and also other colleagues who are in the meeting to do the same. So if we are doing planning, or brainstorming, or there’s analysis work that we are doing collectively as a team, we can use this as an area to collaborate on. What you can see here is that there’s a feature which Microsoft released to assist with running of meetings, and that’s called templates.

Dharmesh: When I click on templates, there are many templates that we can select from. So say for example, I was using it for a planning session. So you can see, I can use this, for example, project kickoff, what that will do is put together a template for me to put on the screen and I can use this to assist with my planning. So here, I can ask the other attendees or my colleagues, who I am working with on this planning session to go in and help populate the cards, or the sticky notes on this board. So, it could be that we are doing sprint planning, and I’m asking my team to come in to define some of the activities associated to the user stories that we have. And this is a really powerful tool, especially in the hybrid world that we are working in today.

Dharmesh: This whiteboard will be saved not only with the chat, but also within my Office 365 instance. So, I would be able to go back and you can see that I have got some sample ones here, and this is the one that we have created today. And as I’m based in the United Kingdom in London, the time here is quarter past five. So you can see that this is the one that I have created, and anyone who has contributed to it will be able to also access this via whiteboard. For me to access whiteboard via my homepage, I’m able to go to that by going to my apps and selecting the whiteboard icon, which you can see here.

Dharmesh: I’m going to go back into Microsoft Teams, and here in Microsoft Teams, there’s one final tab which I just wanted to show you. So this is breakout rooms, and I’ve probably got a… I’ve actually got a screenshot of it. And I’ll flip back to my presentation to explain this. But this is… In effect, if you are running a session where you need to have smaller breakout for teams to brainstorm or work on together, but it’s part of an overall workshop, this feature is amazing to specifically in that scenario.

Dharmesh: I’m just going to switch back to my presentation, and hopefully you can see that. So, What we’ve just looked at was a tour of Microsoft Teams meeting and what whiteboard looks like. The feature which I mentioned of using live capture, I have a screenshot of that, and you can see that as colleagues are participating in a meeting, you can see at the bottom that actually it captures, it has live caption there. So if you are in another country and English is not your native language, you can turn on language settings for that to be in your native language as live translation.

Dharmesh: Breakout rooms, as I mentioned, give you the ability to select a subset of your attendees for your meeting and assign them to specific breakout rooms. So here, you can see in the screenshots that I have, that these five attendees of them of my overall workshop are going to be put into breakout room for… What that will do is give them… what that will do is put them into that meeting room and they can then have their breakout session in there. And then when they’re finished, either me as the organizer can close that meeting room and bring everyone back, or they can come back into the main meeting room to continue the collaboration work that we are doing together.

Dharmesh: Some of the features, which I can’t live demo to you, but you can see here that there’s various video experiences that you can see. So, Microsoft may day a major update last year, where actually you can see that I think up to 49 participants can be seen on video concurrently, but there’s various views that can be adopted to get the best view to suit your working style, when you are working with your colleagues or attendees of your meeting.

Dharmesh: Some of the other features which Microsoft have in Microsoft Teams include a feature which you may or may not have heard of, which is together mode. So very much, everyone’s used to joining meetings, which are very much just individual tiles with the video of individuals. What together mode does is adds a bit of character to your meeting, and you can see these are some of the backgrounds which Microsoft have included, and here you can see that everybody’s sitting behind a desk, or I think there’s a really good one where the team are sitting at a coffee bar. You can use that as a way to host informal meetings where your communicating or collaborating with your colleagues. Okay.

Dharmesh: Moving on to the next topic, which is around moderating and capturing, capturing meeting notes effectively, the first item that I wanted to cover was what are some of the rules or meeting etiquette that could be placed when using video? And I know that it’s not always favorable for all attendees to have their video on, but when I’m running my meetings, what I ask is at the beginning of a meeting for intros, it’s always good to turn on cameras, so that you are able to introduce and put a face to the name when beginning meetings.

Dharmesh: Recently, in some of the roles that I have had, they have been me joining virtually and working with colleagues that I haven’t actually physically met. And actually this has probably been not just during the pandemic, but before that as well. And it’s a very good way of getting to know some of your team and colleagues where actually in the current, in the new world, or the modern workplace, it’s not always the case that you’ll be meeting all your colleagues face to face on a regular basis.

Dharmesh: Also, for regular team meetings, it’s always good to have cameras turned on, or ask for your cameras to be turned on. That way, we can ensure that the team are participating and collaborating during those team meetings. And the final one is, when the presenter is presenting, it’s always also good that the presenter potentially has their video turned on. And Microsoft has released some really good features to enhance that experience further in terms of how a presenter can have their video on during meetings.

Dharmesh: What I wanted to move on to the next section, which was around taking notes during meetings, and be that during the Microsoft Teams meeting or for your own meeting. What I showed you was how Microsoft Teams holds all meeting notes together. What I wanted to do was just do a very short demo of what Microsoft Teams, what Microsoft Office 365 has in terms of other tools to bring your notes together, including a product called OneNote. So I will exit the the presentation, and I’m going to go…

Dharmesh: First of all, what I’m going to do is I’m going to go to my calendar, and you can see that I’ve got the webinar today in my demo tenant. And what I can do from here is there is an option here within my meeting notes to say, I want to send this to OneNote to take notes and link it to this. So when I click on that, I say, take my own notes, and I’m going to hit, okay. And you can see I’ve got various other folders here for other projects that I’m working on. You can see here that I’ve got the title of the meeting, which has been taken from the Outlook calendar.

Dharmesh: Invite a link to the meeting, which has extracted. I can see the description of the meeting, and if there are any other items that were included in the meeting invite. I can also hear tick, to say who has attended the meeting? So to confirm who had attended that particular meeting as for my own notes, when I’m taking notes, I can and take my notes, I could say, “I’m going to start a action list. And what I’m able to do is…” And you’ll see in the top bar here, I’ve got various icons, which I can use.

Dharmesh: For example, I could say, I wanted to do a checklist. So I’m going to say action, item one, action, item two, and so forth. I’m also able to have other items. So if there was something important that I needed to follow up on, you can see that I can use this icon here, and there are various others as well. So be it there’s a question, or something to highlight, or link it to a particular project, there are some tags that I am able to use here. What I’m also able to do is user feature here to say, not just in this note, but show me across the board, all the tags that I’ve got for a particular option. And I can use that to go and do a tag search across the board.

Dharmesh: What that will do is help me bring together all of my actions. And you can see here that it’s got my attendee list, check boxes for the ones that I’ve got here. And it’s got my actions, which I’ve added here, and I can use that to help bring that all together so I can get a good summary of what are my key actions that I as an individual have from the various meetings that I have participated in. What I am also able to do, if this was with other colleagues within my organization, I can share these notes. So actually, they would also see the notes if it was linked to a calendar invite. And that was an option that you may have seen when I started to take notes in Microsoft OneNote from Outlook.

Dharmesh: I’m going to go back into my presentation. So, we’ve just been over the note taking capability and the ability to take your own notes, as well as take notes as part of the Team. So if you’re running a meeting, you can use the inbuilt Microsoft Teams functionality, but you can also use the OneNotes capability, be on your own or share with your team to take notes. And just as we were going through, I’ve just got some screenshots of some of the capabilities of Microsoft Teams. And you can see some of the trans group features, which I’ve also mentioned around the capability.

Dharmesh: So, in the screenshot that you can see here, the transcript feature, when I enable it, will add another tab. And also, you can see here that it’s got a transcript of the attendee when they were talking and it taking notes for you during that meeting, where you’re running a workshop, it’s really useful where you have the transcript feature, especially if you need to go back and reference any of the discussions, especially where you are potentially designing a solution or developing the scope of a project.

Dharmesh: We’ve been, as part of what we’ve just done, we’ve taken meeting notes and I’ve been through a demo of that. I’ve just showed you the transcript feature and understanding how that works, and also the recording of meetings. When I went into Microsoft Teams, we reviewed how to turn on that feature. The meeting recording is hosted within the individual. So if I start it within my storage area on OneDrive for me to share with other colleagues within my organization. And that is a really, really good in terms of a, using as a reference point. As I mentioned, in certain instances, especially where it’s relating to a design workshop, it’s always very good to have that ability to go back and reference certain design decisions or queries that have come in.

Dharmesh: Moving on to the next section, which is around managing your time. And what Microsoft have released is a feature around my analytics. And this is Microsoft, you may have heard or referenced as VI insights. There are four key parts to this in terms of the areas that it covers, and I’ll move on to that next.

Dharmesh: The first is around focus. The focus section of the, my analytics area helps you understand whether you’ve had enough time as an individual to do to work. So it will tell you how many meetings you’ve had, and what spare time you had. It helps in forward planning. And I know again, in the model world, especially when you are working either remotely or [inaudible 00:31:16] not in the office, it’s very easy to have back to back meetings with very limited time in between for actually doing your day to day work.

Dharmesh: The network section shows information from some of the key individuals or team members that you work with, and that’s based on the activities and interaction that you’ve had with them during the calendar year. There’s a wellbeing section, and the wellbeing section is there to help you making sure that you’ve got enough time in your calendar. There’s a feature where you can enable which will help populate and find time in your calendar to have specific focus slots. So, making sure that as a individual, that you have time in your calendar to actually perform work and have specific focus time. Again, that’s really important when managing your diary, and running of meetings that actually you do have that time in your calendar.

Dharmesh: And then finally, there’s the collaboration section, which shows some of the activity based on the collaborations that you’ve had, which potentially may be with some of the key team members that you have in terms of chats that you’ve had with them, calls or meetings. And it will give you a breakdown of what that means. As I mentioned, there’s a dashboard for this, and actually I’ll go in and show you on mine. Mine is a demo tenant, so actually the information in here is fairly limited, but it will give you a flavor for what that dashboard looks like. So I’ll jump out of the presentation once again.

Dharmesh: Okay. And I’m going to go to my web browser, and once again, I can go from here. And as I mentioned, they’ve called it is referenced as insights, which I’ve opened in here. And it gives me first into my dashboard. And again, this is a demo tenant so the information in here is very limited why I have… Here, it gives you a breakdown of the focus time wellbeing. So how many days have you’ve been consecutively working or had quiet time, your network and who are your key collaboration and some of the habits?

Dharmesh: It’s a very good feature that you can see. And as I mentioned, in terms of that focus, you can enable that from this section here where I can go in and it will help block out sections of your diary to ensure that you have that focused time. And there’s various insights here around how many emails that you have over a period of time, and who are your core team members. And again, the more that you are… I guess, as you are using this, the more information will be populated in here.

Dharmesh: As I’ve mentioned, this is very much a demonstration tenant I’ve set up. So the information in here is fairly limited within the section is how we have here. So, going back to the presentation. Just as a recap of today and what we have covered, we covered defining the meeting. So why are we running this? What is the meeting about? So making sure there’s an agenda, who should attend, and making sure that it’s planned appropriately. So when it’s planned as well, we reviewed the optimizing the meeting experience, so making sure when you running a meeting, you’re using the features to your advantage.

Dharmesh: So be it collaborating on whiteboards or capturing meeting minute notes, or if it is a workshop with a large number of attendees using the capabilities, for example, breakout rooms, we covered the effective note taking and the use of video as well, which I know is always good to have and help. And also we spoke through the managing follow up actions, data through OneNote, where you are able to take notes and capture actions using the tags feature, or using the meeting real time transcript or recording and going back and looking at those.

Dharmesh: And then finally, we covered the managing your time, which is about analytics and really making sure you as an individual can also manage your own time and have effective analytics on how you are using your time, be in meetings or other collaboration

Dharmesh: In terms of the presentation, that concludes my presentation today. I’ll happily take any questions if there are any, and I guess, thank you very much for attending my session today for agile PM.

Melanie: We do have some questions.

Dharmesh: Super.

Melanie: Super. First question from Theresa, “How do you set the live caption for different languages?”

Dharmesh: Okay. So when you are actually, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to demo this directly on here, but I can share some information post this. Once you’ve actually enabled live captions, there is an option within there to change the language and it is really effective. I guess it’s based on how clear everyone is speaking, but in my experience of using it, it’s pretty good. Cool.

Melanie: Okay. We also have a question from the audience about the transcription option. Is that something that everyone has, or is it something only an admin can set up?

Dharmesh: Yeah. Good question. The feature for transcription is enabled at a organization level. So as long as that feature is enabled all by your organization, you will have the ability to… You will have the ability to use it, but it is a administration setting which need to be enabled, but that once it’s enabled at your organization level, it’s possible for you to use.

Melanie: Thank you. And can the meeting notes be saved off to a central location, either within or outside of teams?

Dharmesh: They are saved within Microsoft Teams, and linked to the meeting invite. If you are using the notes capability within Microsoft Teams, if you are using OneNote, you have the ability of saving that app. Either, you can export that out to, for example the PDF, if you’re sharing it out, or store it independently of Microsoft Teams.

Melanie: Thank you. And for breakout room, does it retain the settings and features for that room, example, recording, transcripting?

Dharmesh: You would need to enable that breakout room. So in effect, you would probably need to enable it when you go into that breakout room to record and do the transcript for that as well. It would be room by room.

Melanie: Okay. Thank you. And can you create a meeting transcript without recording the meeting?

Dharmesh: Can you create a transcript without recording? I’d need to check with that. That’s a very good question. I’ll definitely take that question away and maybe we can post it on the portal afterwards, similar with the transcript in a different language. I’ll come back on both of those.

Melanie: Okay. Yes. And I’m happy to send those answers out with the recording and follow up survey if you’d like. We have a couple of more questions. We have an audience member that can’t find my analytics. Is that an add-on?

Dharmesh: It’s not an add-on, again, what I can do is share the specific URL. Sometimes it may have not been enabled at your organization level, so that may be the case, or it’s just not visible in the tiles where you go into Office 365. But again, what we can do is I can share information about my analytics or viva insights as a follow-up note as well.

Melanie: Thank you. And finally, from Jack, “Is there any relationship between Ms. Team notes, and the default MS team OneNote are the Ms. Team notes searchable? Can you use tags?

Dharmesh: Yeah. Good question. The MS Team’s note is very much around meetings and having the central location where those notes are all held. The one note is different where you can have tags, but that’s very much more advanced capability with OneNote. In terms of the search capability, actually that would be something I’d need to go back and check. And again, I’m happy to include that in a follow-up note, no joke, so we can send that to you. The one notes is definitely searchable. Actually, I’m not sure about the content within Microsoft Teams and if the notes are centrally searchable.

Melanie: Thank you. Well, I think that’s it for our questions. A big thank you to our master an excellent session. We’ve got a lot of thank you’s coming in from the audience as well. The audience, thank you for attending today, live or on demand. Thank you for choosing to learn with MPUG. I’ll quickly draw your attention into some upcoming events. The best 10 Microsoft project tips is next week live. And then this just got added to our schedule, use agile PM with Microsoft projects online, any subscription version?

Melanie: These are the people who wrote the step-by-step agile chapter, so that should be really powerful. And then we’re back with the pin edition the following week. So please join us with those and come with your question. It’s seven five, PMI/PDU in the technical category. I’ll leave this up on the screen for a bit and have a wonderful day. Again, thank you Dharmesh.

Dharmesh: Brilliant. Thank you very much everybody. Enjoy your days.

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Written by Dharmesh Patel
Dharmesh Patel is a seasoned Technical Project Manager with over 15 years’ experience using and implementing Microsoft technologies.  Dharmesh has worked for various large multinational organisations, sectors including Finance, E-Commerce, and Technology as well as continued engagement with Microsoft.  Contact Dharmesh at
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