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New Microsoft Teams Features Make Virtual Meetings More Robust

As virtual meetings become a part of the norm in 2020, Microsoft has been hard at work to adapt their Teams tool to be a robust virtual meeting tool. Recently they have released a large array of new features that make meeting online much more intuitive as well as a more collaborative experience.

We've put together a recap of some of the most exciting new features:

  • Dynamic View Options - fluid and flexible way to optimize the screen space during a meeting. Video and screensharing stays on focus while audio stays on side. There is a purple highlight around the box that highlights the current speaker. If there is a handraise that participants box gets a yellow highlight.

  • More participant options - As there is a greater need for more virtual events in 2020 Teams has made changes to allow large numbers of participants to your virtual meetings. Teams will now allow 1,000 active participants and you can have up to 10,000 viewers of the live event.

  • Important Content Highlighting - One obstacle with online events is the distraction that can come from seeing a large number of participants on your screen. Teams now optimizes the space so that content being shared takes up the most of the screen and participants that are audio only are on the side of the screen and not featured as a main square. You can also choose who to highlight and view so that the speaker/content that is most important takes up most of your screen.

  • More participants in view- For collaborative meetings you can now have up to 49 participants on your screen at once. You can choose how many tiles you'd like to see on your screen at one time.

  • Auditorium Mode- A brand new idea in the virtual meeting world. Auditorium mode allows you to see all participants together sitting in an "auditorium" environment. The idea is to get rid of some of the distractions with people backgrounds as well as make you feel like you are more naturally sitting with meeting participants. The auditorium view automatically shifts everyone to be looking at the speaker and makes it easier to catch non verbal cues easier. You can have up to 49 participants in the auditorium view at once.

  • Reflect Feature: To allow meeting leaders to get an active pulse on participants thoughts during a meeting there is a new reflect feature. This is a messaging extension which team leaders can use to create questions or use prewritten questions to survey participants during or after a meeting.

  • New interaction tools during meetings:

    • Handraise: Press the handraise button to notify speaker that you'd like to say something or ask a question.

    • Chat bubbles: Chats from meeting participants now pop up during meeting for all members to see.

    • Reactions: You can add reactions to specific participants during meetings. Love, like, congratulate and more.

    • Live Captions: Turn on live captions to see what is being said. A new feature allows captions to now share who is saying what as well.

    • Live Transcription: Turn on to get a transcription during the meeting and add use afterwards as a recap tool. When transcribe is turned on it automatically notifies participants that they're being transcribed. After the meeting the full transcription is available in the meeting chat.

It is evident that virtual meetings and professional gatherings will be here to stay at lease for the foreseeable future. Microsoft is hard at work to make Teams the most robust meeting tool on the market. While we've recapped some highlights of the new features in Teams, the full video below gives you even more new features.

Want help with setting up Teams and training your users on how to get the most out of this versatile tool? Get Teams training from our in-house Teams expert. Find more information and sign up here.


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