How to Create & Host Webinars using Microsoft Teams

Tips and tricks to help you deliver a professional virtual event

Great News – Microsoft has recently launched webinars in Teams!!  This is great news for those of you who train or regularly present to a group of people.  Using Webinars, we can request registration for an event and have greater control while we present to our attendees.  Creating a webinar is as simple as setting up a Teams meeting, and you don’t need to purchase any additional licensing. 

Combine that with some of the new features offered by Microsoft Teams, and PowerPoint within Teams, you can now deliver a more professional and engaging presentation for your audience.  Giving you confidence when delivering virtual events.

Let’s have a closer look at Webinars, webinar features, and some tools to help you deliver a professional online presentation.

 

How do Webinars differ from Teams Live Events or Teams meetings?

  • Webinars are different to Teams Live Events or Team Meetings. They are simple to create just like a Team’s meeting and don’t require any special technology or expertise to run as you might for a Live event.   
  • In a normal Teams meeting you would have a lot of group sharing and interaction. Most attendees are participating in the discussions during the meeting. 
    With a webinar you have a couple of Presenters and the rest of the participants are attendees joining the webinar to listen to the content and ask the occasional question. 
  • Webinars are often used for training or for broadcasting a message to your organisation.
  • We get attendees to register for the webinar by sending them a link to a registration form. Once they have registered, they will receive a join link to the Webinar.  They can join the webinar using any browser; via their phones; or using their desktop.  They don’t need to have Teams installed.


Webinars can be used to invite internal staff or people external of your organisation.  What’s great is that external attendees do not need to be set up as guests in your tenant.

The organiser can control how attendees enter the meeting (into a lobby, with video & sound off etc).  Plus, we get pre & post event reporting that lets us see who has registered, who attended and for how long.

 

How to Create a Webinar in Microsoft Teams

There are two parts to setting up a Webinar. 

  1. Invite Presenters – Create the Webinar invite in your Teams Calendar for the organiser & Presenters.
    Note: The organiser is automatically a presenter and only the presenters will see this page.
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2. Invite Attendees – While in the Webinar invitation, you create a customisable registration form for the attendees. Once created, you copy the link for the form into an email to send to your attendees, or you can share it in a social media post (LinkedIn, Facebook etc) or on your website.

The great thing with these being two different invites for the same webinar is that we can introduce some smarts.  For example, you may want presenters to join 10 mins before the attendees.  

Note: you must send the Teams Webinar to the presenters (even if you are the only presenter) as the registration link will only become active once this is done.

Once you send the invite to your presenters it will show in your calendar with a Webinar icon:

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Creating the Registration form:

When creating the registration form you can add images, and speaker bios.  You can even add your own fields and questions to capture specific information when people register.  

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Figure 1: Example of standard registration form with custom image

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Figure 2: Example of registration form with customised questions and image – in edit mode

To Customise the Registration form:

  1. From the Webinar invite choose who is required to register:
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2. Click View Registration form to customise the registration form

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3. Customise the form to your requirements

4. Click Copy registration link, then paste the link into your email, social media post or website.  Attendees will use this link to register for your webinar.

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If needed you can restrict webinar registration to only people in your organisation.  Please contact us if you would like us to change this in your default settings.

 

See who has registered

As it gets closer to the time of your webinar you will want to see who has registered.  From the details tab in the meeting invitation, you can download a list of registered attendees with their details that you requested during registration.

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At this stage the information that Microsoft has provided is very basic, but I would expect this to be improved over time.

We can host up to 1000 attendees in a webinar and if you need to host more you can invite them using a view only experience.  This makes webinars suitable for small or large audiences.

 

Hosting your webinar on Microsoft Teams

Teams & PowerPoint features have been significantly improved now too.  So, it is now possible run a more professional meeting or webinar than previously with no extra technology needed.

  • By default, attendees will wait in the lobby until the presenter lets them in. When attendees enter the Webinar their audio & video is turned off.  Attendees are also prevented from sharing their screen or content.  As a meeting organiser you can manage these settings in meeting options before the webinar or using menus while hosting the webinar.
  • Attendees can raise their hand virtually to let the presenter know that they have a question.
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  • Presenters can open the floor to questions by unmuting microphones for attendees to speak.
  • A presenter can unmute specific attendees and allow them to speak/present. If you do this it is also worth spotlighting their camera feed.  This makes the speaker the main focus. 
  • A presenter can promote specific attendees be presenters.
  • Attendees can send live reactions which are visible to all attendees.
  • It is now easier to pass control from one presenter to another.
  • You can choose to record the meeting and create a transcript of the meeting.
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Microsoft have incorporated some great features to enhance your online presentation when using PowerPoint in a Teams meeting.  This is known as PowerPoint Live

  • Videos of attendees will show on the right of the screen when sharing a PowerPoint. If you open the chat pane or attendee list the video pane will move to the top of the screen.  This is a better location than at the bottom of the screen.  It helps us establish a better connection with our audience as our eye gaze is now looking at the participants.
  • You can view upcoming slides, notes, meeting chat, and the audience in a single view while presenting.
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All screen shots in this section from Microsoft.

Coming Soon:

  • Presenter mode – Presenter View will allow you to choose where you place your video when presenting.  (the example below shows the presenter video image overlaid on the PowerPoint presentation)
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From Microsoft.

 

Post Webinar support

After the Webinar there are some great extras that get stored with the meeting.  These are visible when you open the details tab of the meeting invite.

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We get an attendance report that shows us who attended and for how long, as well as the meeting start and end time.

If you chose to record your webinar, you will be able to access the recording from here.  This is stored in your OneDrive and can be shared with attendees if you wish to.  Likewise, if you activated a Transcript during your webinar this will be available here.  Other items available are Notes and Registration details.  This makes it so much easier to keep all your information together.

The attendee report is downloadable as a csv file and Microsoft have promised that there will be richer reporting coming later.

For those of you using Dynamics 365, webinars integrate with the Marketing module for nurturing and following up your attendees.  See here & Run webinars and meetings with Microsoft Teams (Dynamics 365 Marketing) | Microsoft Docs for more details.

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From Microsoft: Host webinars in Microsoft Teams | Deep dive on new presenter and attendee experiences.

Webinars and these Teams tools make it so much easier to deliver a professional online event. 

Have fun exploring the options.

 

Written by Annamarieke Ymker

 

Contact us if you need any support.

We provide clients with Teams and Digital Transformation support. Please reach out if you would like some support.

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