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Connecting and Presenting in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a communication platform that acts as a hub within Office 365. It brings together chat, meetings, notes, and integrations with other Microsoft 365 applications like SharePoint and OneNote.

If you’re using Microsoft 365, then it’s likely Teams is your go-to communication tool for chat messages, phone calls, video calls, meetings, and more. Here are some quick tips on starting a chat, voice call, or video call with another person, and presenting your desktop to others when in a meeting or call.

The Teams Application

When you open Teams, there are many options. On the far left is the vertical navigation bar, which includes:

  • Activity: A feed of all your activity, but you can also toggle from Feed to My Activity.
    Microsoft Teams
  • Chat: A list of all your recent chats, which you can also toggle to a list of Contacts.
    Microsoft Teams
  • Teams: A list of the Team groups you belong to
  • Calendar: Your calendar, pulled in from Outlook
  • Calls: Your calling features, including dial a number, contacts, history, and voicemail
  • Files: Recent files within the app and Microsoft 365 that you’ve interacted with

At the top of the app is a Search bar and the far-right panel shows conversations and chats.

Start a chat with a user in Teams

  1. Go to the search bar at the top of the Teams application.
  2. Begin typing the name of the person you want to connect with.
  3. Select the user when they appear in the search dropdown.
  4. Then, start typing in the box at the bottom of the screen that says “Type a new message”.

Microsoft Teams

If you’ve already chatted with this person in Teams, you will see your previous messages here.

You can also find previous chats and people you’ve talked to if you click on the Chat tab in the navigation menu.

Call a User in Teams

You can make video calls or voice calls in Teams.

  1. For either option, first find the user you want to call by searching for them using the top search field or finding them in the list of contacts on the Chat tab (toggled to Contacts).
  2. In the top right corner of the conversation pane, click on the Video Camera icon to start a video call or the Phone icon to start a voice-only call.

Once you are in a call, you will see options at the top right of the window for:

  • Viewing people in the call
  • Viewing the chat
  • More actions menu (e.g., putting a call on hold, transferring, parking, background effects, etc.)
  • Turning on your camera (switching to a video call)
  • Muting your microphone
  • Presenting your screen
  • Leaving the call

Microsoft Teams

Starting a video call or adding video to a voice call will show you through your camera.

Present Your Desktop in Teams

To jump straight to sharing your screen with another person from a chat:

  1. Navigate to the user and then click the third icon (with the upward pointing arrow) at the top right of the conversation window. This is “Screen sharing”.
    Microsoft Teams
  2. It will pop down a tray of options. You can choose to present a desktop or a window/program that you have open. Click on the option that you want.

Microsoft Teams

You can also start presenting from a voice or video call using the same icon, in the upper right corner of the call window. You’ll see the tray of options at the bottom of the call window.

Microsoft Teams

To stop presenting your desktop or a window, click on the “Stop sharing” icon (a down arrow).

Microsoft Teams


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