Teams Live Events Best Practices

Teams Live Events are used for live streaming to large audiences (max 10,000). Common uses are online training, address to staff by the management, corporate announcements and events, entertainment and so on. I conducted 15 live events in 15 days and learnt a lot in the process. Here are some best practices I have learnt.

  1. There is no PAUSE button. Event cannot be stopped once started.
  2. There are three roles – producer, presenter and attendees. Producer and Presenter can be the same person but it is difficult to manage. Therefore, producer should ideally be a separate person.
  3. There are two ways to stream content – one window or two windows. One Window is the content (presentation, shared desktop) and another window can be video (camera feed). One Window shows only content. Two window shows content + video. Switching from one to two window and back disturbs the stream. Therefore, keep the switching to a minimum. Avoid it altogether if possible.
  4. Before you put the event live, make sure everyone other than the presenter is Muted. Producer has a Mute all option – which does not mute the presenter! So be careful. Commonest mistake is unwanted sound being broadcast.
  5. Another common mistake is that presenter is muted. Producer cannot unmute presenter. And during a live presentation, the presenter may not be looking at the chat window. Therefore, there must be an alternative communication between presenter and producer. I tried different methods. If you have only one monitor, then mobile based chat is the only way possible. If you have multiple monitors at presenter end then keep the teams chat on and learn to look at it periodically.
  6. Attendees can use the same link they used to join the live event to view the video after the event. Usually the live event starts few minutes before the published time. During that time, show some filler slide or a countdown timer. Unfortunately, that filler portion is also included as a part of the final video after the event. If this is ok with you, then nothing needs to be done. If not, disable attendee video and you download, edit, trim and publish the video elsewhere.
  7. Bandwidth at the presenter end matters most. I have noticed approximately 14 MBPS upload speed for an HD full screen sharing + HD webcam video. If bandwidth goes down, the video and audio quality reduces and is also recorded. There is no way to repair that after the event.
  8. If you want to do a rehearsal, create a separate trial event. You cannot do rehearsal on the actual event because once the event starts and stops, it cannot be restarted. So be very careful not to click on the Start button of the actual event by mistake.
  9. If you are going to edit the video, mention where the video will be available during the event. Otherwise attendees will not know.
  10. The attendee report does give useful information. But if attendees joined as anonymous, we do not get any information whatsoever. The data of attendees is important for analyzing how often people joined and left. If the connection at the attendee end is poor, you will notice many join, leave and reconnect events. Use the event id column to calculate how many people joined.
  11. Q&A should be managed by the producer or another person. Many attendees may not even notice the Q&A panel. So it is important to read out each question before answering.
  12. While answering questions, minimize the screen activity. If you start a new application or switch windows, there will be delay in streaming and what you are saying vs what you are showing may not match.
  13. While presenting keep Windows in Focus mode, keep mobile on mute and minimize noise from air-conditioning, air purifiers, keyboard, mouse clicks and so on. Use a cardioid microphone with a puff filter if possible.
  14. Close unwanted applications and windows before you start presenting. If you are using multiple monitor, configure PowerPoint to present on secondary monitor and share that monitor. Keep the presenter view open on the other monitor. The other monitor should be kept as the primary desktop to avoid unwanted windows from appearing in the live stream. If you are not familiar with multiple monitors, practice using it BEFORE the event. Otherwise you will get confused, you will lose the mouse cursor, and make mistakes.

4 thoughts on “Teams Live Events Best Practices”

    1. Glad you like it. Try out live events. It is nice and usable. Compared to all other live streaming tools, it is much simpler.

    1. Thanks Szymon… yes Live Events in Teams is probably the simplest way of live streaming. People do not realize that.
      The UI is not perfect, but it works very well.

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