2020 has been quite a year for me. We moved back to Australia from the UK at the end of 2019, so 2020 was about settling the children in to school and then looking for work. I started work with Focused Marketing at the beginning of March. By the end of March we were all working from home in isolation due to Covid-19. It was not the start I had envisaged, but as a company we were quick to recognise what needed to happen to keep the wheels turning for both our business and our clients’.

One of our first priorities was to set up a series of free webinars. This had been a plan for some time but was the perfect opportunity to connect now that we were suddenly all so isolated.We had Teams installed but it wasn’t being used to its full potential. We started using it immediately for our daily meetings at home and utilising the instant messaging feature for quick catch-ups. I set up some current projects in Teams and created an onboarding channel where people could test it out, report any issues and familiarise themselves with the system. For our webinars we decided to use Teams Live to enable us to stream live video and digital content to potentially larger online audiences.

What is the difference between Teams Meeting and Teams Live?

Teams Meeting allows everyone able to speak and participate and are designed for real-time synergy and conversation between a group of people. Teams Live events are ideal for presentation style webinars where attendees are listening and viewing. Up to 10,000 attendees can join an event but their only means of participating is by submitting written questions to the presenter, giving the presenter control over the webinar. Attendees do not have the ability to speak.

What license do you need for Teams Live?

To create a Teams Live event you will need an Office 365 E1, E3, E5, A3 or A5 licence which includes Microsoft Teams. We asked our amazing IT providers, Crofti, to assist us with this part and set up the permissions. The tutorials and help sections on the Microsoft website are also really comprehensive and this is a great starting place if you don’t have an IT department to call upon.

The Event Roles

There are roles involved in organising a Teams Live event; the organiser, producer, presenter and attendee. The organiser schedules the live event and checks that the event is set up with the correct permissions for both the event group (who manage the event) and also for the attendees. The prganiser will select the presenters and the producer and will create the event in Teams Live, similar to how you would create a normal meeting in Outlook or a Teams meeting.

The producer is responsible for starting and stopping the event, as well as selecting the content and layout and sharing the presenter’s screen. There can only be one producer.

As the name suggests, the presenter presents audio, video, or a screen to the live event. You can have multiple presenters on your live Teams Live event.

And most important are the attendees, who are the viewers. While they do not have the ability to speak, they are able to type questions in the Q&A section if the producer has chosen to include this when the event was set up. The producer can also read the questions before deciding whether to publish them to the presenter.

Attendees can attend either anonymously or authenticated if they have logged into their Microsoft account.

Creating a Teams Live Event

Once you have the Microsoft Teams live events feature for your organisation, you can create your event. Step-by-step links from Microsoft are below:

Step 1. Schedule a live event

Step 2. Invite attendees

Step 3. Produce your live event

Step 3a. Present in your live event

Step 4. Manage the recording and reports


What I have learned setting up and using Teams Live.

Practice and practice some more! Before our first live event, I set up several rehearsals, so we could all become accustomed to our roles and practice sharing our screens. My roles are organiser and producer, so what I see on my screen is different from what a presenter sees. If you are not in the same office, it may take a little bit of trial and error for everyone to work out how to share their content and check the audio is working.

For our first live webinar we shared the Powerpoint screen, but the video feed of the presenter was not shown. For our second webinar, we decided to use a split screen so video and the presentation were both visible. We work across both PC and Mac, so rehearsals are an important part of the process to ensure everything is working as it should be.

The producer sends the presenters a link. Be sure to join in your required role if you are a presenter or producer and not as an attendee.

During the live event, the producer can see a live count of how many people are watching, but not their names. After the event, you can download the attendee report that will list each attendee’s name, email, time they joined and left the event.

As long as you are ‘pre-live’ you can talk with all the presenters and producers in the Live Events meeting. As soon as ‘start’ is pressed to broadcast to the audience, they are able hear everything you say in the meeting. Organise for the event group to join about 20 minutes before your start time. It’s good practice to have an introduction slide indicating the event will begin shortly. Start the live broadcast about 10 minutes early to ensure everything is working. Leave all audio muted until you’re ready to go live with your presenter at the start of the live event, otherwise their audio will go out to the audience. As a producer you can remote-mute them, but they have to un-mute themselves.

Another important takeaway to note, is that there is a 15 to 60 second delay from the time a media stream is broadcast to when attendees see it.

Teams Live has a variety of backgrounds you can add to ensure you have a clutter free and tidy space behind you when presenting, check these out in your rehearsal. If you choose a minimalist white background, consider wearing a dark or bright colour, avoid white or you won’t be seen very well!

Please get in touch! I would absolutely love to hear from anyone that has recently started using Teams Live. What top tips do you have, what do you like about it or what do you struggle with?

Our upcoming webinars are profiled on our Eventbrite page.

Recordings from previous webinars are on our Youtube channel.

If you have some topics you would like us to cover in our webinars, please let us know.