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:

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes