How to Use Microsoft Teams to Host Your Family Holiday Call

Have you been asked by your family to setup a family holiday call using Microsoft Teams?

Don’t sweat it! What could go wrong? ?

Ok, a lot.

Well, here are a few tips that I took note of while setting up a Microsoft Teams calls for my own family…

What: Add your personal email first so you can access the Meeting Options and Join link BEFORE you send out the invite.

Why: This gives you a chance to customize the instructions in the message and adjust other settings before adding everyone.

What: Turn off the lobby in the Meeting Options. Set to Everyone. [ADD EXACT WORDS]

Why: Makes it easier for everyone to join without an extra screens, steps, or confusion.

What: Highlight the Join Meeting link in yellow highlighter.

Why: Makes it easier to see as it stands out.

What: Add custom instructions with a link to a blog post like this one.

Why: Help those who need visual instructions for how to join via a browser. 

What: Do a test run with a tech saavy friend or family member first.

Why: Make sure  everything is ready.

What: Add everyone to the invite at one time.

Why: When new invitee added, original invitees get another email notification. This can be confusing.

What: Remind everyone that the Microsoft marketing message that “You don’t need to download or sign in to Teams to join the meeting” is accurate, but not as friction-free and perfect as they expect.

Why: They do not have to install the app, but they will get a very limited experience. For example, if they are joining the meeting via the browser (either as an anonymous guest OR by signing in with a n account) they will only see one person at a time (the active speaker). The video streams will also be very pixelated and likely laggy. The browser can’t handle all that incoming video input at once.

So What Do We Do?: They will need to download the app, setup a login, and have that login added as a guest to the organizer’s Office 365 tenancy to see everyone’s faces at once!

What Else? Do they want to join via your cellphone? You’ll need to download the mobile app.

I’m sure there is more, but these are a few things I have encountered so far that I hope are helpful!