Microsoft, Adding Hope to Virtual Meetings

The novelty of virtual meetings has worn off, but it is apparent they are our new “normal.” Our current need for distance and safety has made virtual meetings a must, although because they have worked, businesses are signing up to keep them long term. Big companies like Google and Facebook have announced that most of their employees will be working remotely until late 2021, demonstrating that most of us can do our jobs from anywhere. So we are thrilled that Microsoft is giving us as many options to make our virtual meetings even more productive.

 

As discussed last month, Microsoft announced many new options for Teams meetings, including Together Mode, Gallery Mode, Virtual Breakout Rooms, and Live Reactions. These new additions to Teams meetings have made it the clear choice for your virtual meeting experience, although there are a few more options that we are excited to preview.

 

Viewing ourselves on a screen all day has been challenging. Many times we cringe when our video bubble pops up on our monitor. It may be our background or lighting or possibly because of an unsightly pimple. Whatever it is that makes you self-conscious, it would be nice to be able to alter it. Microsoft granted this wish. Although Microsoft teams previously provided customized backgrounds or blurred backgrounds, they took it one step further. As we have grown accustomed to filters on social media, our cameras, and our phones, Microsoft Teams has brought it to the virtual meeting experience.

Now introducing, Microsoft Teams Video Filters: Now, before joining a meeting, you can adjust the lighting of your image or even soften the focus giving you that “Snapchat” glow.

 

Microsoft-Teams-Video-Filters

 

Once you have your image to your liking and feel more comfortable on your screen, it is time to join a meeting. In a virtual meeting, we want to be engaged and provide input. Similar to seeing yourself on a screen, many struggle speaking up when another participant has the floor. Do we virtually raise our hand? Do we simply speak up? After contemplating which route to take to communicate our point, the topic may have moved on. Through Microsoft Teams, you can engage in the conversation without worrying about interrupting the speaker on the floor.

Microsoft Teams Chat Bubbles: Up until now, a separate chat had to be opened during a Teams meeting. A recent update enabled us to open a chat bubble that can be visible during a meeting to all meeting participants. Chat bubbles allow all participants to be engaged and add valuable input in the session and brings the chat more central to the meeting.

Now that you look great on your screen and are comfortably providing input to the meeting, the next step is to effectively follow along with the meeting. Live transcripts through Microsoft Teams have been an extremely valuable tool. However, with the ability to hold a meeting with up to 49 participants or 20,000 through a view-only format, it may be challenging to be confident of who is speaking. This is why we are so excited about the new addition to live transcripts.

Speaker Attribution for Live Transcripts: What are speaker attributions? Speaker Attributions are a “labeled” live transcript. Now the speaker’s name will accompany the transcript much like a movie script is written. In addition to reading what is being spoken, there will be real clarity of who is speaking.

Microsoft is knocking it out of the park with the multitude of Teams updates and making our new working experience much more comfortable and efficient. To learn more about these updates or how we use Teams in our own office, call our Pendello Solutions Team today. We use the entire Microsoft 365 stack and are eager to share how the applications can benefit your business today.

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