Updated: Jul 26
In a time of hybrid work, business leaders want to empower people to come together and share their most spontaneous, creative and rich ideas.
Which can be hard I admit, when half the team may be working from home, and the other half may be in office. Because the novelty and purity of coming up or discussing new ideas is lost or diminished in such settings.
Therefore, relying on tools that require everyone to be physically present simply isn’t viable anymore.
So here are three of my favourite Teams capabilities that I think will help colleagues collaborate with each other:
#1: Collaborate and Create with Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams
In a physical setting, it’s so easy to simply pull up a Whiteboard or drawing board and just start sharing ideas.
Well, in your Teams meeting, this can also be done! Simply tap on the share button, and you will see Whiteboard show up among the options. Select, and let the brainstorm begin.
You can lay out text, sticky notes, write out your agenda, and more. And gone are the days of “can someone please take a picture of the whiteboard and share it with the group?” All of the work will automatically be saved so your team can refer back to and update it whenever they need to!
It’s also simple to prep your Whiteboard ahead of the meeting. Simply double click the meeting invite in Teams Calendar, click the Whiteboard tab and prepare your Whiteboard. When the meeting starts, your pre-prepared whiteboard is already in the meeting.
For projects and longer-term discussions, you can add a Whiteboard to a Teams channel. Now, the Whiteboard is accessible to the channel’s members, and they can view and update it any time, enabling ongoing brainstorm and collaboration. Simply click the “+” button at the top of any Teams channel to add a tab, search “Whiteboard,” and follow the prompts to name your Whiteboard and optionally post to notify the channel that Whiteboard is now enabled.
And when you’re in a large meeting—such as an all hands, town hall, or training session—you can use breakout rooms in Teams for smaller group conversations. And it’s easy to create a dedicated Whiteboard for each room. After joining a breakout room, select Microsoft Whiteboard under Share content in Teams.
#2: Get real-time feedback from participants using Polls in Teams
Whether you are running a large-scale training session, leading your monthly all hands, or teaching in a remote classroom, Polls in Teams meetings enables presenters to get real-time feedback and turn attendees into active participants. These polls leverage the infrastructure and capabilities of Microsoft Forms to enhance your virtual meeting experiences.
As the meeting presenter or organizer, you can prepare polls in advance. Simply go to your Teams meeting chat or Teams meeting details view and add (+ button) the Forms app as a tab to start creating polls. This tab will be automatically named “Polls.”
During the meeting, the presenter or organizer can launch a poll without leaving the meeting window by first clicking the Forms icon at the top of your Teams window. All your prepared polls appear on the right pane, from which you can choose which poll to “launch.”
After the meeting, you can evaluate poll results in the “Polls” tab directly. You can even export them into an Excel workbook to run any analysis or share with colleagues or view them on the web in the Forms app. With Forms’ intelligence and data insights, you can minimize the time it takes to create polls and take action on the information your polls collected.
#3: Transform your presenting experience with PowerPoint Live in Teams
Of course, reading the room, seeing people’s expressions and natural interactions became more difficult to do when in a virtual meeting. To address this challenge, use PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams. This exclusive and unique experience benefits both presenters and audience members, offering the rich presenting capabilities of PowerPoint and the collaboration of Microsoft Teams giving meeting participants the tools to interact, engage, and follow along in a way that fits their needs.
PowerPoint Live in Teams gives you all the tools you need to present confidently. You can now review notes, engage in chats, and see your audience – all in one view. It is also easy to seamlessly transition between presenters without that awkward switching.
And it’s not just great for presenters, attendees can interact with content like hyperlinks and videos while consuming the content at their own pace. This redefines the way people interact with presentations and keeps viewers engaged.
To get started, simply launch a Teams meeting. Then, instead of opening a PowerPoint deck and sharing your screen, unlock the benefits of PowerPoint Live by picking a recent file or uploading a file under the PowerPoint Live section of the new and improved Share content in Teams