Tips to enhance your Microsoft Teams experience

With many people currently working at home, there has been a huge increase in the use of online communications such as videoconferencing and chat. It’s not a new concept and you’ve probably been using one platform or another for some time for work and/or leisure. But there may be the odd thing or two you didn’t know which could help enhance your experience and increase productivity. Here are a few tips and tricks if you’re using Microsoft Teams.

1. Translations

Have you ever been on a video call with someone who speaks a language you don’t? If so, there are several options available to help bridge the gap:

  • Using the “Translate” menu, users sharing content can choose to add captions in a specific language. You can select up to 6 languages at once.

  • Conversation transcriptions can be downloaded once ended. Click on Meetings > Live Event Resources.

  • Attendees can turn on live captions by clicking Subtitles On in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

When using Chat, Inline message translation keeps everyone communicating in their preferred language. Simply click on the ellipses next to a message to translate it.

2. Communicating across different platforms

Are you required to chat to people outside your organisation, such as clients, partners and suppliers, who use a different platform? If so it’s likely they’ll be using Slack or Cisco Webex Teams. It’s not ideal to leave Teams and transfer into your external contact’s choice of App. Instead, you can use Mio Universal Channels to translate the messages across the platforms. GIFs, emojis, and message edits/deletes are all supported. Try it for free here

3. Find Teams users quickly with @mention

If you work in an organisation with lots of people, it can be time consuming scrolling through hundreds of contacts to find the person you need to chat to. The @mention function allows you to directly find the user(s) you need to speak to by entering their name after @ in the search bar.

4. Streamline and prioritise your information feed

It’s likely you’re a part of several groups and teams all having different conversations on email, phone and chat. To make sure you don’t get overloaded with information, you can utilise the Channel notification setting. This allows you to choose what activity you want to get notifications for a and where they show up, plus you can also turn off notifications for specific conversations within channels.

  • To choose your channel notifications, go to a channel that shows in your teams list and select More options > Channel notifications. From there, you can make your choices.

  • To turn off notifications for specific conversations within a channel, go to the beginning of a conversation in a channel, then go to the top right corner of the message and select More options > Turn off notifications.

5. Quick keyboard shortcuts

It can be a panic trying to figure out how to mute yourself when the dog starts barking during an important client video meeting. Here are a few essential shortcuts for functions:

  • Go to Search (move straight to the search bar): Ctrl + E

  • Turn your camera off Ctrl+Shift+O

  • Mute yourself: Ctrl+Shift+M

  • Background blur: Ctrl+Shift+P

  • Zoom: Ctrl+= to zoom in or Ctrl+- to zoom out

  • Go to your files: Ctrl+6

For a complete list of all the keyboard shortcuts, enter /Keys into the search menu at the top of Microsoft Teams.

And finally, a bit of fun…..!

6. Customise your background

We’ve seen several of our clients having fun with this function. It’s perfect for covering up a messy home office!

For privacy, blur everything behind you:

  • Click on your audio and video settings screen when you join a meeting

  • Choose the ellipses “…” for more options

  • Tap on Blur my background

Or you can customise your background with an image or a virtual background. To find virtual backgrounds, launch a video chat and tap the … menu:

Click Show background effects. This will bring up a sidebar with some alternative background options.

At the moment you can only use stock photos from Microsoft but apparently there will soon be an option to use your own custom backgrounds from your own pictures… then the fun might really begin!

For further advice on communications platforms, not just Microsoft Teams, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on

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