Thursday, June 18, 2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A reason to disappear into your Teams custom backgrounds

Ever seen people move so far back from their camera during a Microsoft Teams meeting that they disappear into the image behind them? Now that custom backgrounds in Teams are becoming more popular, I started thinking about this phenomenon and realized there's a potential benefit to this "blend into the shadows" effect...

What if the background I choose happens to be my profile pic? Perhaps with a few added graphics?:

In the case of the mockup above, I'm actually sharing my video feed during the meeting. But, I've closed the cover on my webcam (rather than moving away from the camera) so that only the background shows. I used a few Photoshop skills to create the image, then clicked "Add new" in the background settings to upload the image to Teams.

A few kool things about this:
  • Of course I support everyone turning on their live video feed during Teams meetings, but this could be a professional-looking compromise on those bad hair days :)

  • While I'm clearly trying to imitate a typical no-video-feed-in-Teams look here (black background and all), it gives me the chance to add things like company logo that a normal profile pic in a Teams meeting wouldn't provide.

  • The big win - I can show my profile pic in meetings outside my tenant! No more joining my customer's meetings as a guest with just the big "RW" circle showing.
What do you think?

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Microsoft Whiteboard vs OneNote

I've gotten a lot of questions from my government customers lately about how to use a whiteboard in Teams. In the government cloud, we're still waiting for the integration of the Whiteboard app in Teams, and so for now OneNote is one of the alternatives.

I discussed this on one of my Friday webinars, but at that time neglected to show the co-authoring experience. The video [below] demos that. Also coming soon is my session on OneNote that I delivered during the global Microsoft365 Virtual Marathon conference [video link here].