Ohio University

Using Microsoft Teams for your meetings and live events

Which do I want: meeting or live event?

  Teams meeting Teams live event
Number of participants Up to 250 Up to 10,000
Audio/video delay No delay: Participants interact in real-time 20-30 seconds
Can participants share audio/video? Yes, with additional capabilities depending upon Teams meeting role It depends on a user's live event role
Can you communicate via text chat? Yes, in the meeting chat Yes, in a Q&A
Can you allow non-OHIO users to join? Yes No
Can you restrict it to OHIO-only users? Yes Yes
Can it be recorded for later playback? Yes, with the option to restrict it to OHIO-only users Yes, with the option to restrict it to OHIO-only users
Is it good for conference calls and hybrid in-person/virtual meetings? Yes No
Is it good for webcam-only meetings? Yes No
Is it good for classroom use, including guest speakers? Yes, though a separate camera and microphone is highly recommended No
Is it good for events such as keynote speeches or events with multiple cameras or microphones? No Yes

 

For best results, please review Equipment needs and either Teams meeting tips or Teams live event tips depending on which solution is right for you.

When everyone is joining remotely, each participant will use their device’s camera, microphone, and speakers or headphones.

  • Equipment needed: Each participant will need to load the Teams app or web app on their own microphone/webcam-equipped device, such as a laptop.

If any of the participants are co-located (i.e. in the same physical location like a conference room), their microphones will pick up the audio from one another’s speakers, thus causing echo and feedback. There are a few solutions:

Co-located participants call into the meeting using a speakerphone

Pros: Co-located participants can hear and be heard by remote participants.

Cons: Non-co-located participants will not be able to see the co-located participants. A speakerphone is not ideal for any more than about 6 co-located participants.

Equipment needed: Telephone or smartphone with speakerphone function.

Only one co-located participant joins the meeting from their own device

Pros: Does not require any extra equipment or setup.

Cons: Because all audio is going through one microphone and set of speakers, co-located participants sitting far away from the device might have trouble hearing or being heard by remote participants. This arrangement only works for 2-3 co-located participants.

Equipment needed: One microphone/webcam-equipped device, such as a laptop, with the Teams app or web app loaded.

Use audiovisual equipment to extend your computer’s camera, microphone, and speakers

Pros: Because everyone can see and hear one another regardless of location, the meeting is much more immersive and makes it easier for everyone to participate equally.

Cons: Not everyone has available equipment or budget to purchase it. If there is not a permanent setup for the equipment, larger meetings can take significant time to physically set up.

Equipment needed (all available in Bobcat Buy):

  • For 4-6 co-located participants (approx. 5’ mic/audio radius)
    • Laptop with Microsoft Teams app installed
    • Speaker/microphone unit: Jabra 510 - approx. $125
    • Camera: Logitech Brio - approx. $200
    • Optional tripod to hold camera
  • For larger numbers of co-located participants (approx. 12’ mic/audio radius)
    • Laptop with Microsoft Teams app installed
    • Speaker/microphone/camera unit: Poly Studio – approx. $900
    • Optional tripod to hold camera

Live streaming a high-profile event often requires specialized equipment and an operator or group of operators who have expertise dealing with highly variable conditions and configurations. We recommend seeking fee-based assistance from audiovisual professionals.

If you would still like to proceed on your own, please review the Teams live event tab on this page.

  1. Review how to schedule a meeting in Teams
  2. Consider whether to assign roles in your Teams meeting—especially for meetings of more than 5 or so people. For example, the Organizer may want to designate someone as a Presenter so that they can share a PowerPoint or mute noisy Attendees while the Organizer is busy facilitating the meeting.
  3. Set up any A/V equipment you plan to use:
    • Position the camera so that the speaker(s) can easily be seen by remote participants.
    • Position the microphone so that the speaker(s) can be easily heard by the remote participants. For smaller groups, a central location is ideal. For larger groups, put the microphone near the facilitator and ensure the facilitator knows to repeat all questions so that remote participants can hear. It may also be useful to hold your meeting in a room with a built-in PA system or amplified speaker’s podium. Amplifying your presenter’s voice via the room’s audio system will help the organizer’s device pick up the room’s audio better.
    • Review your call settings and make a test call to ensure everything is working properly.
    • If you plan to share content such as a PowerPoint or video, make sure you know how to do so. Remember that when you share a video, the remote participants will not hear its audio unless you share system audio as well.
      • If you are planning on having a video feed as well as a shared PowerPoint, do note that the presenter can only show one or the other. Therefore, we recommend either:
        • Showing your video feed but sharing the link to the PowerPoint in the chat so that users can click through the slides on their own, OR
        • Sharing your screen, which will override your video feed with the PowerPoint slides
      • If there are any files you would like to talk about or collaborate on, such as a PDF or Word document, we recommend sharing those files in the chat so that people can look at the whole file rather than just the part of the file you’re sharing on your screen (see: Share a file in Teams).
  4. Be prepared to troubleshoot the following:
    • Feedback, echo, or unpleasant background noise
      • ​​​Likely cause: One or more co-located participants’ microphones are picking up audio coming from another co-located participant’s device.
      • Possible solutions: 
        • Organizer/Presenter mutes everyone except for one device in the co-located room
        • Organizer/Presenter mutes everyone who is not supposed to be speaking. (Muted participants will need to be unmuted if they would like to speak later.)
        • If you are using external speakers for audio, ensure that the device connected to the speakers is the same device that is connected to the microphone. (If your device’s microphone picks up any audio your device is generating, Teams automatically cancels it out—unless you have intentionally enabled share system audio.)
        • If in the co-located room you are using a microphone that is not connected to the presenter’s device (e.g. a handheld mic plugged into an amplifier), mute all co-located participants’ devices except for one. This ensures that the amplified sound is only coming through one device.
    • Poor quality audio (lagging, cutting out, etc.)
      • Likely cause: Your device may have too many applications running.
      • Possible solutions: 
        • Close out any applications you do not need for the meeting.
        • Restart Teams and rejoin the meeting.
  1. Starting the meeting
    • If you are recording the meeting, say so; it’s courteous. Though anyone who joins the meeting online will receive a notification that it’s being recorded, co-located people who are not on the meeting will not know unless you tell them.
    • Inform co-located participants that there are remote participants. Explain that they will not see all the remote participants on the screen; only the four who have their video enabled and have spoken most recently (in Teams).
    • Inform remote participants how to resolve A/V issues. For example: “If you are having trouble hearing or seeing us, please type into the chat.”
    • Tell the remote participants how you would like them to participate
      • Via their microphone (preferable for smaller meetings)
      • Via chat (preferable for larger meetings; you will need someone in the room to monitor the chat and bring it to the facilitator’s attention)
  2. Running the meeting
    • Have someone monitor the chat constantly, perhaps someone other than the facilitator. People may ask questions or request help troubleshooting.
    • For larger co-located groups, ask the facilitator to repeat questions asked in the room.  This assures that remote participants can hear the question and that it is captured on the recording.
  3. Ending the meeting
    • Thank everyone for their participation and explicitly tell them that you are ending the remote meeting connection.

If you plan to run your own Teams live event without seeking fee-based assistance from audiovisual professionals, Microsoft has thorough documentation on getting started with a Teams live event.
While it is possible to run a Teams live event using only a laptop with a webcam, Teams live events are best suited to high-profile events, such as keynote speeches or presentations to large audiences. For a successful live event, we recommend:

  • Professional-grade A/V equipment (e.g. a mixer, cameras, microphones, projectors, etc.)
  • An “event group”—i.e. people who work behind the scenes to make the event successful

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a Teams live event as your solution:

  • Teams live events run on a 20-30 second delay, making them a poor choice for an event with much back-and-forth between the remote audience and the presenters.
  • Assigning event group roles correctly is very important to the success of your live event. For example, due to the 20-30 second delay, if you have any remote presenters, they will need to be assigned the Presenter role in order to receive the non-delayed feed. Review the following articles for more information: