How to Manage Participants in a Microsoft Teams Meeting

Running a Teams meeting can be stressful as there are many things to consider. You have to think about who is presenting, how can your audience ask questions, what happens if someone has background noise? Thankfully there are features built into Microsoft Teams meetings to help you manage your participants when running a meeting.

Before the Meeting

The first thing to do is manage your participant permissions. Are you going to have one presenter? Do you want your participants to use chat while the meeting is happening? You can change the participant permissions before the meeting by opening the meeting invite in Microsoft Teams and clicking the 3 dots and meeting options:

This will open a browser where you can change your participant permissions. If you are running a presentation with lots of participants, I recommend you change the lobby to everyone can bypass. This means you don’t have to accept participants into the meeting – they will join automatically. I also recommend turning off the ability for participants to present:

During the Meeting

When you are in the meeting, you can manage participant background noise. If you have allowed them to join with mic on, then you can choose to mute the audience from the Teams meeting. Open your meeting and click on the participants button. Then choose mute all. Note this will mute all other participants apart from you.

You can also choose to mute participants one-by-one if only one person has background noise. Click on the 3 dots next to the participant and choose mute participant:

If you are running a meeting with a speaker, you can Spotlight the speaker for the rest of the audience. This will pin the speaker’s video to the main window of the Teams meeting. Click on the 3 dots next to the speaker and choose spotlight. You can also Spotlight yourself by using the same method:

When you spotlight yourself, you will see a purple notification at the top of your window which states you are spotlighted. You will also see an icon next to your name in the participants list. If you want to exit the spotlight, then choose Exit Spotlight at the top of your window:

Closing the meeting

When you are closing the meeting, instead of clicking leave, click on the drop down arrow next to leave and choose end meeting. This will remove everyone from the meeting bringing it to a close:

This is useful if you are running a presentation and do not want participants to remain in the meeting if no content is being presented.

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