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.

24 Responses

    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.

  1. Thank you so much for this great article. I would like to know whether do you play videos in your Teams / Teams Live presentation. How is the quality of the video delivered to the audience? If you are able to deliver good quality video presentations, could you please share how you do it.

    1. Hi
      Videos are not rendered properly in a live event – unless you have a professional streaming setup and a streaming provider configured.
      As you know, gaming streamers have a dedicated hardware setup for this purpose.
      Even in a regular meeting, video rendering on a standard screen sharing is going to be problematic.
      If you really want to deliver video playing as a part of a presentation, the option is to upload the presentation before the meeting and then present.
      This option allows videos to be shown live with excellent quality. Read this article I just wrote for details . Teams presentation on slow internet

  2. Hello!,
    My team is interested in conducting a “panel” style presentation in a portion of an upcoming MS Teams Live Event, but can’t seem to figure out how to make multiple presenter videos stream live at the same time. Is this something you’ve looked into and figured out a workaround for?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Rebecca
      Apologies for the delayed reply.
      In a Teams Live event, only one presenter video (talking head) and one presenter screen is possible. Two video or two presentation streams cannot be merged.
      This is by design. You will need to use some other platform if you want multiple presenters at the same time.


  3. Thanks for the post, those such an exciting experience from you!
    Would you let us know about how is the best practice for the presenter bandwidth? so that will not produce any noise in quality to the audio and video stream in attendees end side

    1. Thanks. Usually, 10 to 15 MB for presenter is fine. Final experience also depends upon the last mile connectivity from attendee side. Doc.

  4. Hello. When I run a live event and share system audio whilst playing a video, usually embedded in a powerpoint, I lose all the audio when muting my own mic. I’d like to be able to mute my mic so as to not interrupt the audio from the video. do you have any suggestions? Thank you

    1. You are right. Muting the mic should not affect the system audio.
      It should work as expected – without any special effort or configuration.
      But in any case, pls go to device settings and check. Use custom and try different mic / speakers.

  5. Hi there great article. I’m trying to work out how to unmute a presenter once they have gone full screen on their laptop. Any ideas?

    1. You cannot unmute others. I know it is a practical problem for the producer. But that problem is superseded by the privacy regulation. You can mute others. But nobody has the right to unmute someone else.

  6. We have an event with 4 presenters. My question is around managing 4 PowerPoint presentations. We will have a compare to manage the presentations. Does a presenter’s PowerPoint leap straight into the live window once they share or can they share in advance to be queued e.g. during the compare introducing them and this be queued by the producer. Also if a PowerPoint is queued but not yet live can another presenter share in advance to also be queued? We will have a practice pre event but just curious now as I know there can be issues.

  7. Is there a way to mute the Q&A notification sound when an attendee puts something in that chat? That audio is coming through in our live production and we cant find a way to turn it off.

    1. Anyone adding items to Q&A does not produce any sound.
      Are you referring to the beep which sounds when people join a meeting?
      That option can be disabled in Meeting Options – Announce when callers join or leave.
      Unfortunately, only organizer can disable that option.
      By default it is open and it is practically impossible to request the organizer to disable that option after the meeting has started.
      At your level, you can go to Windows Task Bar – System Tray Icons – Volume button – right click – Volume Mixer …
      Here you will see two Teams sound sources. One of them is the beep. Mute that. The other Teams sound source is used for the actual meeting discussion.

  8. Tips given are very useful for broadcasting the event. Often referred this post before using live event. I think Microsoft now disabled this option for A1 licenses.

  9. We’ve been using Live Events for online courses and participants do enjoy the Q&A function. Would you be aware of any changes to this function in Teams particularly for the producer side? At first only some producers ‘lost’ the function a few weeks ago but today nobody can see the Q&A function on producers side that usually allows to dismiss or publish questions. The participants of the Live Event can still see it and post Q which might be frustrating for them. Any thoughts why this might be?

    1. Producers and presenters can moderate the Q&A. I have conducted 120+ live Events.. Never faced this particular issue. I don’t think this feature had changed in any way. If I find some info, I will post it here.

    1. 1. Use best available mic and camera.
      2. Test it before every meeting.
      3. Ensure good lighting.
      4. Enable Teams meeting Brightness and Soft focus for camera
      5. Adjust Noise cancellation level in Teams device settings
      6. Use background blur as needed
      7. Explore Avatars if you prefer not to enable the video.

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