How to set up a Teams meeting – an expert guide for first time users

It's 2022, maybe it's finally time to learn how to set up a Teams meeting – we have you covered with this easy guide

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As we all settle into the stride of hybrid working, knowing how to set up a Teams meeting is a vital skill, especially if your company uses Microsoft Teams as its virtual working and organization space.

‘Setting up a Microsoft Teams meeting has become second nature to some thanks to the pandemic, but for those who are not familiar with Microsoft and its apps, it can feel like a bit of a minefield,’ says Scott Riley, director of Cloud Nexus and certified Microsoft 365 expert.

So whether you work from a home office or are going into an office have been tasked with setting up a Microsoft Teams meeting (or you are just looking to get better acquainted with Teams) look no further: here’s the foolproof guide to setting up a Teams meeting, including tips and tricks that’ll turn you into a pro in minutes.

But, before you get started: ‘Despite being able to access a Teams meeting organized by someone else without needing your own Microsoft account, you cannot set up your own Teams meeting without one,’ says Scott. ‘So, you’ll want to ensure you’ve registered for a Microsoft 365 account first.’

How to set up a Microsoft Teams meeting – everything you need to know in 5 easy steps

1. Open Microsoft Teams and start setting up your meeting

‘First things first, open up Teams and head to your calendar, which is usually located on the left-hand menu bar,’ says Scott. ‘At the top on the right, you can click ‘new meeting’.’

2. Inputting the details of your Teams meeting

A pop-up box will prompt you to fill in the details of your meeting. 

‘Add in here the title, date, time and description, and any other details you feel relevant,’ says Scott. ‘You’ll notice there’s a space for the location. Now it might be tempting to fill it in, but you can happily leave it blank.’

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3. Invite your colleagues to your Teams meeting

This can either be done by selecting a channel (which is a predefined group of people in the workspace) or by adding people individually. 

‘If you’re adding individuals, you can simply enter their name under the ‘Add required attendees’ section of the meeting,’ says Scott. ‘If you’re using this for an internal meeting, you’ll get a really nice experience where it looks up people inside your local directory as soon as you start typing their name.

‘If you’re adding people from outside your organization, you just need to pop in their full email address,’ Scott adds. ‘It doesn’t matter if they are not on Microsoft Teams either – they will still be able to join your meeting.’

4. Save the Teams meeting

‘When you are happy all the details are filled in correctly, you can click Save,’ says Scott. ‘This will automatically send the invite to those you’ve requested to participate. 

‘The best part?’, Scott adds. ‘Because your Outlook calendar is synced to Teams, it will automatically add the meeting to your diary without you having to do it manually.’

And there you have it! You can sit back and relax with your Teams meeting all set up – but make sure you don’t forget to attend!

5. Attending your Teams meeting

‘If you’ve successfully added the meeting to your calendar and guests have confirmed attendance, all you have to do when the time arrives is go to your calendar and click the Teams link in the calendar meeting entry,’ says Scott. ‘This will take you straight through to the meeting itself where you can eagerly await your guest’s arrival.

‘If you’re accessing by mobile, you’ll need the Teams app,’ Scott warns. ‘Here you’ll be able to view the meeting and, when it’s time for the meeting to start, you’ll get a nice notification with a simple option to join.’

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Top tips when you are in your Teams meeting

‘If you’ve successfully added the meeting to your calendar and guests have confirmed attendance, all you have to do when the time arrives is go to your calendar and click the Teams link in the calendar meeting entry,’ says Scott. ‘This will take you straight through to the meeting itself where you can eagerly await your guest’s arrival.

‘If you’re accessing by mobile, you’ll need the Teams app,’ Scott warns. ‘Here you’ll be able to view the meeting and, when it’s time for the meeting to start, you’ll get a nice notification with a simple option to join.’

Enable ‘do not disturb’ for a focused meeting

‘Got a really important meeting you want to focus on? Put Teams into ‘do not disturb' mode, which means that you won’t get alerts for any other teams’ messages or chats,’ recommends Scott. 

‘Before you start your meeting, open up Teams and in the top search bar type /DND. Once you’re all finished, it’s /AVAILABLE to go back to getting alerts,’ says Scott.

Mute other attendees to limit background noise and distraction

‘In large meetings, you can mute individual attendees or all attendees with a couple of clicks,’ says Scott. ‘Head to the ‘participants’ button at the top of the meeting. You can mute one person or mute everyone from here,’ Scott says.

How to share a presentation in a Teams meeting

‘If you are the host, from your meeting click on the ‘Share Screen’ icon,’ says Scott. ‘It’s on the top right just near the ‘Leave’ button. You should see a list of recent presentations that you’ve been working on. Select the presentation you’d like to share. If it’s not visible click ‘Browse’ and you should be able to search.’ From here, you can also share your entire screen. 

‘By default, anyone inside your organization can present in Teams,’ says Scott. ‘If you’re collaborating with someone else, you might want them to share their screen too. Head to the ‘participants’ button and find the attendee in the list. From here you can make them a presenter.’

You can also record, transcribe, or add closed captions to your Teams meeting

Pressing the three dots at the top of your Teams meeting will show a list of options to choose from. Here, you can choose: ‘start recording’, which will produce a video file at the end of the meeting; ‘start transcription’, which will produce a transcript of the meeting under the ‘Recording & Transcripts’ tab in Teams; or ‘live captions’, which will provide live closed captions on screen as participants speak.

How do I know if everyone is available to attend my Teams meeting?

Short of asking everyone directly for their availability, ‘When scheduling meetings to invitees in Teams, you can make use of a scheduling assistant which shows blocks of availability in invitee’s diaries,’ recommends Scott. 

Additionally, Teams allows invitees to RSVP to meetings, meaning you should know ahead of time who will be attending.

How can I see when my Teams meetings are scheduled?

‘Your Teams and Outlook are synced so you can use either to find out when you’re available or have meetings,’ says Scott. ‘If you’ve been invited to a Teams meeting, it will automatically be added to your Outlook calendar. 

‘If you don’t use Outlook, no problem!’ Scott adds. ‘With systems such as Gmail, you usually get the option to ‘add to calendar’ when you receive the meeting invitation.’

Can I attend a Teams meeting if I do not have Microsoft Teams installed?

‘You won’t need to install any software and once you’ve finished with the meeting, you can just close the browser window,’ Scott adds.

However, remember that you must have downloaded Teams if you want to set up your own Teams meeting.

Olivia Emily

Olivia Emily is one of the most exciting new talents in consumer lifestyle journalism. Currently finishing off a Masters in Journalism at the City University, London, she has quickly proved herself at being adept on reporting on new interiors trends. A regular contributor to Livingetc, she is brilliant at being able to decode information for our audience.