You are likely to be spending a lot of time inside Microsoft Teams these days. In particular, most of your time can be spent on video calls, where you are in view of the camera, or just using your microphone to chat.
We’ve covered a lot of our tips and tricks for these types of calls over the past few years here at OnMSFT, but today we’ll bring them all together in one piece. Here’s a look at how you can get the most out of video calling in Microsoft Teams.
Use background blur, preset background, or custom background
The first thing we want to mention is the pretty obvious one: use background blur or custom background. These features will help you maintain your privacy (or hide a mess) during a call. It also helps you look a bit more professional. You can activate it in two ways, either during a call or before a call on the “Join now” page.
To turn on background blur or choose a preset background during a call, just hover over and tap the three dots you see in the middle or top of your screen, then choose to Apply background effects. You can then click on one in the list and then click on Overview, then click Apply. To do this before the call, on the “Join now” page, click the button Background filters link under your profile picture, then select one from the list you will see on the right.
If you want to use a custom background, you’ll just want to hit the “Add New” button you see when you select the background blur. Looking for backgrounds? We’ve written a number of articles highlighting the backgrounds you can choose from.
Raise your hand when you want to talk!
The next step is one of the new features introduced in Microsoft Teams, the “raise your hand” feature. This feature works exactly as the name suggests. When you are in a meeting with a large group of people, you can click the “raise your hand” button to draw attention to yourself, so the meeting host knows you want to talk.
To raise your hand, hover over and tap the raised hand icon on the top bar in Teams. It is the icon of a smiley face raising his hand. This turns your video feed box yellow, to highlight yourself in the meeting and indicate that you have something to say. It will also show the meeting organizer one (1) on the meeting attendee list to indicate that someone in the meeting wants to speak.
The third on our list is the ability to forward calls across different devices. This can be useful if you need to move settings during a call. Instead of having to leave the meeting and join it, you can actually transfer the meeting to another device during the call itself, without anyone knowing.
On a PC or Mac or in Linux and on the web, when you sign in to Teams, a banner appears at the top to let you know you’re in a meeting on another device. You can click the purple “Join” button to transfer the meeting, followed by Transfer from another device. On mobile, you will also see the same banner and you just have to click on the button rejoin button.
Try Ensemble mode or Large gallery mode
In a mass meeting with more than 10 people? Why not try the Together mode. This fourth Teams feature is next to help you get the most out of your Teams video conferences. It will help you make your meeting more natural and reduce meeting fatigue. The feature uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it seem like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone in the meeting or class.
You can activate Ensemble mode during a meeting by clicking and hovering over the three dots (…) and choosing Ensemble Mode. This will switch your view towards an auditorium-like setting where everyone is seated in the same space.
In addition to trying the Ensemble mode, you may also want to consider trying the Large Gallery mode. Available from the same menu (…), This feature allows you to see up to 49 people in a 7×7 grid. This is for people who may not prefer to use the Ensemble mode view in larger scale meetings.
Remove background noise in Teams
Our final tip for getting the most out of Microsoft Teams video calling relates to your microphone. We’ve already talked about the importance of a good microphone for good meetings, but if you’re in a situation where there’s a lot of noise in the background, then your microphone doesn’t do any good on distracting sounds. Fortunately, Teams has built in noise cancellation in Windows 10.
Select your profile picture at the top, then click Settings from there select Devices on the left, then search Noise suppression. There are a few settings to choose from here, but it’s best to set it to Auto because this will allow teams to decide on the best level of noise suppression based on local noise. If you opt for High it will remove all background noise that is not speech.
We have more tips!
As we mentioned to begin with, we still cover the Microsoft teams here at OnMSFT. Be sure to check out our Teams hub for more articles like this, plus additional tips and tricks. Sample topics we’ve covered before include how you can add Yammer to Teams, how Teams can be used for your personal life, and even how and why you can create flows in Teams. Of course, we are also always listening to your comments. So let us know if you have any tips of your own by leaving us a comment below.