Teams calls – stop background noise (and “vulgar video”)

Person signalling "shh" (by pressing their forefinger to their lip)How often do your Teams calls get disrupted by background noise? You know, like when someone thinks they’re on mute, so talks to a person next to them.

And hands up if you’ve even watched swirling video of the ceiling – or worse! – from an attendee who didn’t realise their phone’s camera was on.

The latter’s what you might call “vulgar video” – and it’s so distracting!

Luckily though, you can use little-known features in Teams to take back tech control. (That way, you and your audience get a great experience – as you both deserve!)

What’s more, you can do so either during or before your event. (And without nagging everyone to put themselves on mute.)

 

Here’s how

During your meeting

While you’re in the meeting, to change mic and/or camera settings for all attendees (except you and other presenters):

  1. Near the top-right of the Teams window, click the People icon to show the participant list.
    People icon
  2. At the top of the participant list, click the 3 dots.
    3-dots button
  3. Choose Disable mic for attendees and Disable camera for attendees.
    Disable mic and camera options

 

Or in advance

Before your meeting (but after you send the invite), your event gets a Meeting options tab in Teams. You can use that to turn off your attendees’ mics and cameras in advance. (That reduces how many things you need to juggle on the day. What a win!)

You can also use Meeting options to change other useful settings, like recording the meeting automatically. (So, you can’t forget to click Record at the start!)

For more details, see this short how-to from Microsoft.

Here’s how the relevant options look:
Meeting options

 

In either case…

Even with people’s mics turned off, your talk can (and should) still be interactive. You can ask people to type their questions and comments in the chat, or to choose Reactions > Raise hand so you can unmute them. (See the Microsoft how-to above.)

 

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