Much requested feature for Microsoft Teams has been the ability to turn off meeting chat – at least for specific amounts of time during the meeting – or allow the chatting only during the meeting. This is now easy to control “Allow meeting chat” which is found via meeting options.
- Letting presenter do the show uninterrupted and avoiding unrelated chatter in the meeting chat
- Focus on presentation and speaker only
- To avoid bad behavior in chat
- QA is handled with voice only
- Opening chat for QA for only a specific period of time
And of course there are cases when you want the meeting chat to be available only during the meeting – closing the option to continue chat even if people are not leaving the meeting chat.
Only the meeting organizer (meeting inviter) can change meeting options – and thus make changes to chat access. Currently this can not be delegated. Pay attention who creates the meeting invite.
Set meeting chat and other meeting options before the meeting
Once you have created the meeting and added at least one participant you can go ahead and change meeting options from the calendar by clicking Meeting options. This opens the meeting options dialogue to the default browser so make sure you are logged into the same tenant with that browser.
Hint: Invite only one colleague/selected person to the meeting first and set up meeting agenda meeting options, prepare Whiteboard etc in advance. Then add others to the meeting and you can be certain that meeting options are 100% matching your needs.
People in my organization and guests is usually the default. People who are guests in your tenant can also bypass the lobby. So the safest way is to set lobby to “Only me” and make sure you are early in the meeting. After you are in the meeting you can then either allow people in or go to meeting options to change the lobby to allow everyone (or one of two other options) to enter without a lobby.
Update 9th of February: I got reminded by Gianni Solito (Thank you!) that in case you want to use Meeting Notes you need to include all participants in the first invite or otherwise they won’t have access. This is a important reminder those those using Meeting Notes – take a look at Support URL Concerning Meeting Notes. My advice on this one is: do not use Meeting Notes. Instead create a OneNote Notebook that you share to the meeting. Using OneNote notebook is better because a) overcomes this issue b) sharing can be controlled later c) you can copy/backup the notebook d) it is affected by compliance and retention policies e) there is a version history and it honors the recycle bin
I admit: I don’t like clicking the lobby so I very often open it up unless there is a solid reason for clicking (like a confidential meeting). You can also turn the lobby back on (to Only me for example) after the meeting has ended to disallow people from opening the meeting on their own.
Who can present is a very important setting: it controls who can be a presenter (can open mic, can share the screen, can promote others to presenters or demote others to attendees).
A wrong setting here can cause issues and distractions. People in my organization can be too wide so either it is Specific people or Only me. Again – if you are in the meeting early (if you set the lobby to Only me you better be ?? ) you can promote selected people to presenters when they arrive.