Microsoft Brings Webinar Capabilities to Teams

Posted on May 11, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 19 Comments

Microsoft announced today that Webinars and PowerPoint Live are now generally available in Microsoft Teams. And Presenter mode will begin rolling out later this month.

“Over the last year, we have found new ways to create engaging virtual experiences at work,” Microsoft’s Nicole Herskowitz writes. “We’ve transformed spaces in our homes to offices, developed new skillsets for remote collaboration, and in some cases, adopted new technology to get work done. I often hear from our customers about the burden of using different tools to accomplish similar tasks at work. This is one of the reasons I’m excited to announce new innovations in Microsoft Teams that give you more ways to use the tool you rely on every day for internal collaboration and meetings, now for webinars and external events.”

Here’s what’s new.

Webinars. This feature lets you host interactive webinars with up to 1000 attendees with custom registration pages and attendee emails, rich presentation options, and host controls. And for those who need to reach more than 1,000 attendees, Teams supports a 10,000-person view-only broadcast experience that supports 20,000 users through the end of this year because of the pandemic.

PowerPoint Live. Now, those hosting presentations in Teams can view upcoming slides, notes, meeting chat, and the audience in a single view while presenting. And attendees can privately navigate the content at their own pace and use high contrast mode and screen readers to make content more accessible. In a coming update, slide translation capabilities will allow attendees to select their native language and automatically have slides translated for them on the fly.

Presenter mode. This coming new feature will let presenters customize how their video feed and content appear to the audience. There are three usage modes: Standout mode, which shows the speaker’s video feed as a silhouette in front of the shared content, Reporter mode, which shows content as a visual aid above the speaker’s shoulder, as on a news broadcast, and Side-by-side mode, which shows the presenter’s video feed alongside their content as they present. Standout mode is coming first, and Reporter and Side-by-side will roll out soon.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Microsoft Brings Webinar Capabilities to Teams”

  1. will

    What sucks is this feature does not show up for me as of now. I am running the latest Teams preview build and is not there as of now.

    The whole MS Teams announcement and then release news gets confusing as the schedule is all over the map. I would be ok with quarterly releases with bug fixes in between.

    • lvthunder

      Same here. It's that way with all of Office though. I have no idea how Microsoft even keeps it straight.

    • btrproducer

      This also annoys me greatly. The post very heavily implies the features are universally available to everyone from right now, but that is never the case. Which sucks, because my org could really make use of the Webinar feature later this month.

      • Paul Thurrott

        Microsoft says that "the new webinar capabilities are already included in many of the Office and Microsoft 365 plans your organization uses today ... These new capabilities will be available in Microsoft 365 E3/E5, Microsoft 365 A3/A5, and Microsoft 365 Government G3/G5 plans. Microsoft 365 Business Standard and Microsoft 365 Business Premium plans will include all the features above for up to 300 attendees."
    • sott3

      Same here. We do a lot of webinars and this could be an alternative to GoToWebinar. But as of now, there is no drop down under "New Meeting" to schedule on of these. I'm at least encouraged that it'll be available to Biz Premium customers (according to the Quick Start guide).

    • behindmyscreen

      Just how rollouts work. Pretty sure it's all automated.

    • xapache

      Totally agree on this one. In fact, make this like a regular app for updating purposes. That way everyone gets these updates at the same time instead of this rolling release they've been doing.

  2. behindmyscreen

    Now what I want is for Microsoft to submit some optimizations to Electron so that the rendering system can be as small, slim, and visually performant as possible.

  3. t-b.c

    It would be awesome if they could spin off some of this tech into an app for vlogging. Reporter Mode would be especially useful.

  4. Username

    > I’m excited to announce

    why is that positive news are announced by individuals (particularly, a manager or executive), but negative news are announced more ambiguously (eg. “Team”)?

  5. jrjr

    The lack of a language interpretation feature in Teams meetings and webinars forces us to use Zoom instead

  6. crunchyfrog

    This is really great news for those of us needing a webinar capability.

    Side Note: That image in the caption cracks me up. How many Teams meetings have you been on where everyone is dressed so well with their camera centered and good lighting??

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