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Tips for Teams

Here you’ll find resources to help you work smarter and get more out of Teams

A basic introduction to Teams

A basic introduction to Teams

How to use breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams

Breakout rooms for Microsoft Teams are here. This video shows you how to separate your big meeting into a bunch of mini meetings to support learning events, classrooms, and more

teams video

How to run a poll

Did you know you can create a quick poll in Teams? It’s easy and quick to post surveys or questions and get instant responses from your team members. This can be useful if you’re looking for quick decisions and speedy responses to suggestions. As people in your group take the poll, you’ll see real time results in your group conversation.

How to add a poll to a Teams channel or chat

  1. Go to the channel or chat where you would like to include a poll. At the bottom of your Teams window, select Forms.

Note: If you don’t see the Forms icon, click Messaging extensions  and then select Forms.

Add your question and answer options.

Note: If you don’t see the Forms icon, click Messaging extensions  and then select Forms.

Add your question and answer options.

If you want to allow multiple answers, click or tap the toggle next to ‘multiple answers’. Select whether you want to Share results automatically after voting and/or Keep responses anonymous.

  1. Select Save.

Preview your poll, and then click Edit. If you want to make changes, or click Send if you’re ready to post it.

Read more helpful Teams information and advice.


How to use Whiteboards


In Teams, you can add whiteboards to meetings – they are a great way to brainstorm, share ideas and sketches with team members. Think of them as your digital flipcharts.



How to use the Whiteboard in a Teams Meeting

  1. In your Teams meeting, go to the control bar at the top of your screen.

  2. Click the share icon, this will open a window below.


3. Then click on Whiteboard at the bottom of the screen.


Read more helpful Teams information and advice.




Stand out with announcements

Sometimes your message to colleagues needs to cut through the noise and stand out. In Teams you have options to include a headline and image.

How to send an announcement to a channel in Teams

  1. In the channel, select Format under the box where you type your message.
  2. Click the arrow next to New conversationAnnouncement.
  3. Type a headline, change its background colour, or add a background image for the headline area.
  4. Type your announcement topic in the 
    Add a subhead
    area, then the body of your message, and select Send.

    Note: Announcement messages are only available in channels – not in group of 1:1 chats.

    Read more helpful Teams information and advice. 

Private Channels

If you need to have focused, private conversations with people on your team, you can create a private channel in Teams.

Most channels are standard ones — everyone on the team can see them as well as view and participate in conversations, share files, and more.

In order for team members to see content and participate in private channels, team owners need to add them.

How to create a private channel

  1. Go to a team you want to create a channel for, select More optionsAdd channel.
  2. Type a name and description.
  3. Under Privacy, select the down arrow and choose Private – Accessible only to a specific group of people within the team.
  4. Select Next.
  5. Type in the names of colleagues you want to invite. They must already be members or guests of a team. 
  6. Select Add.

In your channel list, private channels appear with a lock next to the name.

Sharing files in private channels

When you share a file in a private channel, only colleagues with access to the channel can view it. These shared files live in a separate SharePoint site away from the standard channels. This ensures access only to members of the private channel.

To meet with just the people in a private channel, select Meet now.

Watch this video  to learn more about private channels.

Read more helpful Teams information and advice. 

Live Transcription

Put down the pen and notebook. Did you know that taking notes in meetings could be a thing of the past when using Transcription in Teams?

This handy tool makes life easier and records who said what and when and then produces an on the spot transcript of the meeting. It is then available to download to reference discussions and agree actions.

How to get started

If you are the meeting organiser or chairperson, you must make sure all participants know that you intend to start transcription. You can also notify participants that transcription can be paused if required, for example if you are discussing confidential information.

Please note – live transcription is only available on the desktop version of Teams (not on the web version). You can access the desktop version from the Windows start menu or from an icon on your desktop.

Teams shortcut icon

Before you start, ask if the meeting is appropriate for transcription. All transcription records may fall under information requests including FOI, EIR etc.

How to start live transcription

  1. In you Teams meeting controls, select ‘more actions’.
  2. Select ‘start transcription’

A notification will appear to let everyone know that live transcription has started. The transcript appears on the right side of your screen.

How to start a live transcription

How to stop live transcription

The meeting organiser and presenters can stop and restart transcription during the meeting.

  1. Go to your meeting controls and select ‘more actions’.
  2. Select ‘stop transcription’ or ‘stop recording’ if a recording is in progress.

The transcription stops automatically when all participants leave the meeting.

How to download the transcript

The transcription is immediately available when the meeting ends. You can download it as a .doc or .vtt file.

  1. Select calendar on the left in Teams
  2. Open the meeting event and choose the transcript
  3. Select download and choose the file type you need.

How to download a transcription in Teams

Information governance guidance

Please follow appropriate information and records management practices when you download and store transcripts. You should ideally only keep one copy in a location accessible to those who require access.

Only keep transcripts for as long as you need them. Once you produce minutes or have extracted the details you need, please store transcripts within a formal record-keeping area. E.g. SharePoint, shared Network Drives

If your team / service uses live transcription regularly, you should consider preparing detailed guidance to outline where transcripts should be stored, what type of meetings transcription can / can’t be used for, and how long they should be kept for.

Please be aware that if a transcript includes personal data, this could be subject to a data subject access request. Transcripts are also subject to FOI requests. More information is available on the hub.

Teams – FAQs

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Tips for Teams

Here you’ll find resources to help you work smarter and get more out of Teams A basic introduction to Teams How to use breakout rooms

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Teams – Chat

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Teams Meetings

Meetings in Teams include audio, video, and screen sharing. They’re one of the key ways to collaborate in Teams. Joining a Meeting in Teams Teams

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