Over the past year, we have learned a lot about remote working, but recognize that spontaneous creativity and rich collaboration can be a challenge. Many of us miss the conversations in the hallway that took place on the way to and from meetings that evoked new ideas, dived around a whiteboard to visually capture the conversation, and the luxury of “reading the room.” We need solutions designed for extreme flexibility so that people can collaborate anywhere, anytime. According to research conducted for Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, more than 80 percent of managers say they expect more flexible homework after the pandemic, and more than 70 percent of employees say they expect to benefit from it. Relying on tools where everyone has to be physically present is simply no longer feasible.
We have seen the growing need to use our products for creative solutions for virtual teams. In the past year, we’ve seen a 12-fold increase in microsoft whiteboard monthly active users, a clear signal that our customers want to connect digitally and create together.
Collaborate and create with Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams
It’s easy to pull out a whiteboard and share ideas. In your Teams meeting, tap the Share button and you’ll see Whiteboard appear among the options. Select and start the brainstorm. You can format text, create paste notes, write down your calendar, and more. And gone are the days of “can someone take a picture of the whiteboard and share it with the group?” All work is saved automatically so your team can refer to it and update it when needed.
It’s also easy to prepare your whiteboard for the meeting. Just double-click the invitation to a meeting in the Teams calendar, click the Whiteboard tab, and prepare your whiteboard. When the meeting starts, your pre-prepared whiteboard is already in the meeting.
For longer-term projects and discussions, you can add a whiteboard to a Teams channel. Now the whiteboard is accessible to the members of the channel and they can view and update it at any time, allowing continuous brainstorming and collaboration. Just click the “+” button at the top of a Teams channel to add a tab, search for “Whiteboard” and follow the prompts to name your whiteboard and optionally post a message to let the channel know that Whiteboard is now enabled.
And when you’re in a large meeting, such as an all-hands session, town hall, or training session, you can use brainstorming rooms in Teams for smaller group conversations. And it’s easy to create a special whiteboard for each room. After you sign in to a brainstorming room, under Share content in teams, select Microsoft Whiteboard.
Note: The new Share content experience will be available soon. To access the full functionality of Whiteboard, such as templates and much more, you can open the Whiteboard application on Windows 10 or iOS with the “Open in app” button.
Get real-time feedback from participants using team polls
Whether you’re running a large-scale training session, leading your monthly all-hands, or teaching in a remote classroom, Polls in Teams Meetings allows presenters to get real-time feedback and turn attendees into active attendees. These polls leverage the infrastructure and capabilities of Microsoft Forms to improve your virtual meeting experiences.
As a meeting presenter or organizer, you can prepare polls in advance. Just go to your Teams meeting chat or Teams meeting details and add (+ button) the Forms app as a tab to create polls. This tab is automatically named ‘Polls’.
During the meeting, the presenter or organizer can start a poll without leaving the meeting window by first clicking the Forms icon at the top of your Teams window. All your prepared polls appear in the right pane, from which you can choose which poll you want to ‘start’.
After the meeting, you can evaluate the results of the poll directly on the “Polls” tab. You can even export them to an Excel workbook to perform an analysis, share with colleagues, or view them on the Internet in the Forms app. Forms’ intelligence and data insights allow you to minimize the time it takes to create polls and take action based on the information your polls have gathered.
Transform your presentation experience with PowerPoint Live into Teams
Reading space, seeing people’s expressions and natural interactions became more difficult during a virtual meeting. To meet this challenge, we created PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams. This exclusive and unique experience benefits both presenters and audiences, and provides PowerPoint’s rich presentation capabilities and Microsoft Teams collaboration, giving meeting participants the tools to communicate, engage, and follow in a way that suits their needs.
PowerPoint Live in Teams gives you all the tools you need to present confidently. You can now view notes, join chats, and see your audience – all in one view. It’s also easy to seamlessly switch between presenters without that tricky switch.
And it’s not only great for presenters, visitors can also interact with content like hyperlinks and videos while using the content at their own pace. This redefines the way people interact with presentations and keeps viewers engaged.
Simply start a Teams meeting to get started. Instead of opening a PowerPoint deck and sharing your screen, you can unlock the benefits of PowerPoint Live by choosing a recent file or uploading a file under the PowerPoint Live section of the new and improved Share content in Teams.