Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Have you heard about Microsoft Teams laptop with Microsoft TeamsI have been asked recently, about creating meetings in Microsoft Teams including when managing someone else’s calendar.

When using Microsoft Teams in a large organisation you may be a member of one or more Teams, or you may be a member of one or more Channels in a team.

The question is asked – how do I set up a meeting and how do I join one?

Set up a meeting

There are two methods to set up a meeting in Microsoft Teams. Via the Calendar in Teams itself or via your Outlook Calendar app.

Via Teams

The Calendar section in Teams connects to your own calendar. When you set up a meeting this way, it is your meeting and will appear in your own calendar. You can make the meeting happen in a Channel or you can create a private meeting that is not just for the team but also for external attendees and invite anyone with their email address.

Via Outlook

If you are a delegate and have permission to create meetings in someone else’s calendar, then you can do so for a Teams meeting too. You cannot create a meeting on behalf of another person within Teams.

Create a meeting via Microsoft Teams

Go to the calendar section in Teams and click the New Meeting icon top right.

Then set up the meeting request that appears on screen. Name the meeting, set the date and time, and choose if it is a meeting that takes place outside of the Team or inside one of the channels.

Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Figure 1- Click New Meeting

Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Figure 2 – Name set time and date and choose channel if need be

What is the difference?

The difference is that a channel meeting will appear in the Channel posts section and any member of the Channel will be able to join from within the posts section by clicking the join link on the meeting there.

If it is not in the Channel, then it behaves as a regular meeting and you will join via the Join Teams Meeting Link in the email you receive or the calendar appointment you create.

Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Figure 3 – Meeting appears in the Channel Posts

Regular meeting

Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Figure 4 – join via the Meeting Link

Create a meeting via Outlook

Click into the calendar you are creating the meeting from. Then click New Teams Meeting on the Ribbon. Set up the meeting as normal and send it. This is a regular meeting request that once accepted, you or your attendees will join via the link in the body of the email or appointment in your calendar.

Using this method, you can create a Teams meeting for someone whose calendar you manage which you cannot do in Teams itself.

Note that you can do this the same way on both Windows and Mac.

I hope that this has helped you work out which method to use when creating a meeting in Microsoft Teams.

Let me know how you create meetings in Teams.

Shelley Fishel

This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication and must read for any administrative professional. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at to find out more or to get your 30% discount email
and tell them we sent you 

P.S Did you know? I have two courses on Microsoft Teams.
How to to Use Microsoft Teams  and How to use Microsoft Teams if You are a Trainer Speaker or Coach.

Microsoft Teams – so you want to hold a meeting, do you?

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

In my previous post, I talked about Microsoft Teams, what it is and a couple of scenarios for use. Today I want to take a closer look at the Chat feature.

Shelley – isn’t Chat just instant messaging?

Yes, it is and no it isn’t – it is so much more than that in Teams. You can chat one to one with a colleague or fellow team member, you can chat with a group of people or you can chat in a Channel.

A Chat can even be turned into a call or a video meeting.

Let’s see how.

Chat – one to one

Start off in the Chat section of Teams – it looks like this:

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

Here you can see a one to one Chat I had with Annabel.

To start a new Chat

To start a new Chat, click the New Chat icon at the top of the Teams Window to the left of the search bar. Type the name of the person to chat with and then start to type the chat message.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

What can I do in a Chat?

Not just typing. Although that is what it is mostly used for.

Note the tools listed underneath the chat area – start to type and click send or use one of the other tools to liven things up or give extra weight to your message.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

Click the A with the paintbrush and format your message. It can be quite long, and you can type a subject line for it. Makes the chat make more sense. Mark it Important – it then gets the red exclamation mark! and even add an attachment. If you want to share a document with the other person, add it to the chat:

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

The attachment can be opened from within the chat or you will find it in the Chat Files. Yes, even a Chat has a Files section. Find files that were shared here. Add files to the chat from here by clicking the Share button at the top and uploading them.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

Add others to an existing Chat

Invite others to participate in the Chat with you by clicking the add others button and typing in their name.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

Call or Video Call

Turn the chat into a Voice or Video call by clicking/pressing on the icons at the top right of the chat itself – you can even share your screen in a chat too.

This will create a call with anyone included in the Chat. Once in a video call you can share your screen a slide deck or a document.

Channel Chat

Channel chat is not private rather it takes place in the Channel and is visible to all Channel members. This is where you can discuss issues that are pertinent to the project or department that the channel is for.

Chat in the channel is similar to private chat apart from the fact that it is not private.

Here is a picture of a chat I was having with Jo Brianti about our upcoming podcast.

You can see that in the last chat message, I have expanded it, added a title and used formatting to divide it up and make it easier to read.

Again, in the Channel chat you can add an attachment however this time it is stored in the Files section of the Channel.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

Adding Emojis Gifs and Stickers and Giving Praise

When chatting with others, you may want to liven things up. Use Emojis Gifs and Stickers to do this.


Click the Emoji icon and search for the one that you want to use. You can use the scroll bar to move up and down in the list.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified


Add a GIF – click the GIF icon and find the one that suits your mood.


Stickers are fun, there are different collections and you can customise them with your own message.


This needs to be enabled by your Admin and if it is you can give individual praise to team members. Click the lightbulb icon and choose the icon add a name and message and click Preview and if you are happy with it click Send.

Let’s Chat – Teams Chat de-mystified

Channel Chat – keeping the conversation on topic

When using the Channel Chat to discuss a project or topic, you will find that you are removing a lot of the noise from Outlook and other communication methods.

What do you think of Chat? Since moving to Teams and using Chat and Channels my VA and I communicate so much better.

Let me know how you are using Chat and if this article has helped demystify things.

Shelley Fishel

This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication and must read for any administrative professional. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at to find out more or to get your 30% discount email
and tell them we sent you 

P.S Did you know? I have two courses on Microsoft Teams.
How to to Use Microsoft Teams  and How to use Microsoft Teams if You are a Trainer Speaker or Coach.

Have you heard about Microsoft Teams?

Have you heard about Microsoft Teams?

Have you heard about Microsoft Teams laptop with Microsoft TeamsChances are, if you have been working with Office 365 for a while or following the tech announcements you will have heard of Microsoft Teams.

Many people are confused as to what Microsoft Teams actually is and what it can do for them.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is an app that is part of your Office 365 subscription. It is used for Chatting, Calling, Online Meetings, File and document storage -Teamwork and you can add other apps to it to make the work more relevant.

If you are used to using Skype for Business, you may be thinking that Teams is simply a replacement for Skype for Business (Microsoft are on the way to ditching Skype for Business).

You would be right and wrong at the same time.

Whilst Microsoft Teams can be used for Chat, Calls and Video Calls and Meetings it has a whole lot more to offer that Skype for Business does not.

Here is an example of how it can be used. I can create a Team called Admin to which I invite all the administrators across the company. Within Admin there are three Channels. One for the Christmas Party, one for Travel and one for Entertaining.

In each of the Channels there will be a Posts area a Files area and a Wiki.

Have you heard about Microsoft Teams?


This is where you have Team Chat. Conversations can be held here. All team members are part of the chat and can dip in and out at will.


This is for storage of team documents. Anything can be stored here. Reports, working documents, receipts, spreadsheets, presentations, pdfs in fact anything that everyone in the team need to access.


A Channel Wiki can be used to contain useful links and announcements.

How would you use it – Let me set the scene?

You are in charge of organising the Christmas Party. You create the channel and then invite suggestions from team members. This is done in the Posts section where Channel chat takes place. When one person – let’s call her Jane comes up with a brilliant idea, that post can be “liked” or “loved” just like on social media.

Once you have reached the idea for the party, tasks can be assigned. The Planner App can be added to the Channel so that the plan can take shape. Add a Microsoft Form to capture information and a plethora of other apps can be added too depending on the need and suitability.

Set up the file structure within the files section, a folder for Venus a folder for quotes etc. Then start to add your files.

Documents, spreadsheets and presentations are stored and can be accessed by any team member.

Documents can be worked on collaboratively as they are automatically shared with everyone who is part of the team. Documents can be opened right there inside Teams or they can be opened online or on the desktop app.

Now that you have your file structure set up, your team members invited and suggestions coming in, you decide that you need to have a team meeting.

Head over to the calendar and create a meeting, choose which channel to hold it in and add the details: time, date, agenda any notes and go ahead and schedule the meeting. The meeting will appear in the Channel and any one can join direct from here. Simples!

When in the online meeting, you can share your screen, share an application, share a document or a presentation, give control to others to get their input and even share a Whiteboard for brainstorming sessions.

But what if I want to chat with Jane and not everyone else?

A personal chat is the answer. Start a private chat with Jane. This lives outside the Team/Channel and is only visible to the two of you. You can add more people too if you need to expand the conversation.

What about External Members

With Microsoft Teams so long as your administrator has enabled it, you can invite external people into your Team. They can do just about anything a full member can do. Guest members are usually not able to create new Channels or Delete Channels but otherwise they have the same access to everything in the Team. They can access the files and add files too.

This is just a brief outline of what Teams can do. There are many more scenarios. How will you use it?

Shelley Fishel

Author Information

Shelley Fishel is the owner of tomorrow’s VA an online training platform for Microsoft Office and a well published author on Microsoft Office. She has been working in the IT Training arena since 1998 starting out working for a training company before setting up her own company which she sold in 2019. Shelley now works predominantly online – delivering courses and webinars and speaking at events and conferences.

Shelley holds the COLF and CDOL qualifications from the Learning and Performance Institute of which she is a Fellow.

This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication and must read for any administrative professional. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at to find out more or to get your 30% discount email
and tell them we sent you 


P.S Get to grips with Microsoft Teams – take my course – How to Use Microsoft Teams and start making the most out of it.

Microsoft Teams – Members, Guests what’s the difference?

Microsoft Teams – Members, Guests what’s the difference?

The whole point of a Team is to work with others, right? So, you have set up your shiny new team and want to add members – but then it gets confusing. What kind of members should you add? How do you add them and what if you just want to host a meeting with others who are not part of the team? Are they guests? And what is a guest member?

Read on to find out.


Team members are people who work at your organisation. They have the same email address ending as you so they are . You can invite them into any team that you set up in your organisation.

In fact, as you set up the Team you are prompted to invite members in. I always skip this step and only add people once I have set up the Team with all the different things I want them to have access to.

To add a member:

Click on the three dots to the right of the Team name and choose Add member from the list of options.

Microsoft Teams - Add members

Add Team Members

Next you need to add their email address – as you start to type Teams will suggest people at your organisation. You will see in the dialogue box that it tells you that you can also add Guests to your Team. More on that next.

Microsoft Teams - Add team members

Type email address

So – what or rather who is a guest?

A guest member is someone who does not work at your organisation and does not have an email address that ends like you do.

You have the ability to add guest users to your Team so that you can work with external people.

What can a Guest member do?

A guest in your team can do almost anything a fully-fledged member can. They can participate in a Chat, join a Channel Meeting, have a one to one chat with other members of the Team, and access files and folders in the Files section as if they are

Do I need to do anything special to add them?

Yes, you do. The Team administrator will need to enable certain settings in order for guests to join

  1. Turn on Guest Access in the Teams Admin Centre at the Organisation wide level
  2. Configure Azure Active Directory Business to Business Settings to allow access
  3. Configure Office 365 Groups
  4. Configure Sharing in Office 365
  5. Verify the Sharing Settings in SharePoint
  6. Set up Guest User Permissions in the Team
Enable Guest Access

The six steps to enable guest access – slide from my course – How to Use Microsoft Teams

Wow that sounds complicated Shelley

It is, and it isn’t. Think about it for a moment. Let’s think about what a Team actually is and how it is used.

A Team is a Communication Hub. Primarily for those at your organisation. However, on any project you may need to work with external people, suppliers, Virtual Assistants, collaborators from other organisations.

Anyone in a Team has access to all the functionality set up.

  • Team/Channel Chat
  • Team Meetings
  • Applications in the Channels
  • Files and Documents

When you invite guests into your Team you are giving them access to any files stored in the Team. Now this may be exactly what you need to do, and that is fabulous. But if you simply need to have a meeting with external participants – like a Zoom meeting for example, then you don’t need to invite them in or add them to your team.

So, how do I host an online meeting with people outside my organisation Shelley?

There are two methods to create the invitation.

Method one – inside Teams

From the Calendar in Teams click Schedule Meeting, give it a title, set the time and date and type in the email addresses of the invitees, just like you would in an Outlook invite.

When you are done, click Send.

The person Invited gets an email invite and when they accept it will be in their calendar.

To join your meeting, they open the invite and click on the Join Microsoft Teams link in the body.

Side note – I am writing this on my Mac, the steps are identical for both Windows and Mac and I use both.

Method Two

Create a meeting request in Outlook and add the Teams meeting link to it.

On Windows – click the new Teams Meeting icon on the Home Ribbon of the Calendar.

On Mac – click New Invite on the Home Ribbon and then the Teams Meeting Icon

Microsoft Teams - create meeting

Create a Microsoft Teams Meeting in Outlook – the Mac version

On Windows – you will see the Join Teams Meeting link in the body of the email straightaway.

On Mac – the Join Teams Meeting Link will be added after you send the invite.

Join the meeting via the link

On both Windows and Mac, the attendee clicks the Join Teams Meeting Link in the body of the email.

What happens next?

When they click the meeting link, they will be taken to their browser, it is preferable to use Chrome or the latest version of Microsoft Edge. They will be able to join the meeting in the browser (just like Zoom) and may need to enable the Microphone and Speakers via a pop up in the browser.

If they have the Teams app installed, they can choose to open the meeting in app (like Zoom)

Once in the online meeting the attendees can see whatever you as the organiser share.

The difference between attending an online meeting in Teams or on the Web

If you join an online meeting as an attendee via the Teams App (so you are not a guest in the organisation) you will be able to use the full functionality of your Teams App. You are not accessing the host’s Team and you do not have access to any of the hosts files or other resources but you do have access to all of your own resources.

If you join an online meeting as an attendee via the web browser, you will be able to see whatever the host shares. If you are presenting in the meeting, you will be able to share your screen and have the choice of whether to share your desktop of any other application that is open. You must have anything you want to share open and ready.

How many people can be seen on screen?

At the time of writing Teams has just been updated to show up to 9 people on screen and Microsoft are working to increase this to more.

Back to Members and Guests

Now when you are working on setting up your Team you can make an informed decision of whether you need people to be invited in as Guest members so that they have complete access to all your Team resources or whether you want to simply invite them to an online meeting.

Remember Guest Members like full Members have access to anything stored inside the Channels they are in.

Want to know more? Take my online course: How to Use Microsoft Teams which will show you how to set up your Teams and how to use all the functionality.

At the time of writing I am creating another course for Trainers Speakers and Coaches, you can sign up to find out when it will be ready here.

Are you using Microsoft Teams? Has this article helped? Do comment and let me knowShelley Fishel ?


Online Delivery – yes please!

Online Delivery – yes please!

As the exodus from in-person delivery to online delivery of services continues there are two companies in huge demand.

One is Zoom, the video and audio conferencing app. The other is tech giant Microsoft, home of Office 365 and the provider of the increasingly popular communications and collaboration tool Teams.

Both companies have seen steep upward curves in demand and sales. You can see my blog which compares Zoom and Teams here.

The numbers for Microsoft are pretty staggering.

In their latest analysis report, they announced a new daily record of hosting 2.7 billion meeting minutes across the planet in ONE single day. This figure trebled their previous record of 900 million.Online Delivery – yes please!

Students and teachers are also turning to Microsoft Teams for distance learning. It’s being used in 175 countries around the world to keep education going.

Obviously we, as humans, love face-to-face contact. We prefer to communicate in person with other people.

Microsoft have been researching the way we are all interacting now to uncover some new trends. It makes for interesting reading.

Because we love face-to-face, it’s no surprise that the use of video in Teams meetings and conferencing is on the rise. Global video calls in Teams rose by more than 1,000 per cent during the whole of March. Users in Norway, Australia and the Netherlands were the most active with video communication.

Microsoft Stream, which powers live events and meeting recordings in Teams, has also seen a huge upsurge in activity. A five-fold increase took place in just one month.

With the increasing use of the platform, Microsoft is making changes to make using Teams an even better experience for people. These include:

  • Custom backgrounds – which means you can replace a cluttered or dowdy space with a fresh, new office backdrop. A neat way to create an even more distinguished and professional look.
  • Raise hands – a function which allows participants on a video call or in a virtual conference meeting to indicate they wish to speak.
  • End Meeting For All – The host of a meeting is now able to end the meeting for all participants with a single button click.
  • Participant Report – Meeting organisers, especially teachers, can see who joined, at what time and when they left the meeting.
  • Real-time Noise Suppression – a feature on its way to reduce distracting background noise, such as loud typing or a dog barking.

Different working hours

Online Delivery – yes please!Microsoft’s research also suggests that people are adjusting their working hours while they work more remotely, typically from home. People are logging on earlier and logging off later.

This, say the researchers, does not mean people are working longer hours. It means they are breaking up their work day into different chunks. This may be to work around family, household tasks or caring for others.

You may have found you have had to make some adjustments to your working day or week, too.

What is clear is this. More and more companies and individuals are turning to Microsoft Teams. They will expect employees and external people they work with to know how to use the application.

For the motivated VA, now really is the moment to get your teeth into Teams and make sure you know it well enough to serve clients with calm and confident efficiency.

If you know you need to get up to speed, take a look at my online course on How to Use Microsoft Teams. It covers all the essentials. That means you can worry less about working out how to do stuff and focus on delivering superb service to your clients.

Don’t get left behind. Microsoft Teams is here and only going to be more popular. I’ll show you step-by-step all the clever stuff it does so you can handle it like a dream.

To Your VA success!

Shelley Fishel

P.S. Microsoft Teams is already part of your Office 365 Business subscription. My online course on how to use it is available to you now with a time-limited 25 per cent discount.