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In the world of hybrid work, ensuring all participants feel included and can contribute their ideas in an effective and visual way is incredibly important. A successful meeting not only invites all participants but provides everyone with the tools to contribute to the conversation. For your next Microsoft Teams meeting, you can lead more visually engaging discussions that hit your objectives before, during, and after the meeting by using Microsoft Whiteboard. With new innovations in Whiteboard, you can feel empowered to create a strong and productive meeting – together.
Before the meeting
Quickly set up your whiteboard with discussion objectives using one of the 60+ Whiteboard templates. Whether you’re leading a discussion for brainstorming, problem solving, or team bonding, you can easily use template search in the create panel. Template search will be generally available for Microsoft 365 commercial users in December 2022.
Looking to enhance your meeting whiteboard? Embedded online videos and links can add visual richness and make your meeting more dynamic. Avoid fussing with tab and window switching that interrupts the flow of a meeting by including supplemental videos directly on the whiteboard with embedded online videos. Embedded online videos and links is now generally available for Microsoft 365 commercial users.
During the meeting
Engaging your participants from the moment they join the meeting is easy. Pull up the whiteboard you prepared earlier by using open existing board in Teams meetings, and your meeting is already off to a great start. Open existing board in Teams meetings is now generally available for Microsoft 365 commercial users.
Provide time for individual participants to brainstorm for inclusive discussions with timer in Whiteboard. Create focus, stay on-task, and keep your meeting moving by setting a timer for agenda activities. Timer will be generally available for Microsoft 365 commercial users early next calendar year.
Invite users on a whiteboard to follow your viewpoint as you navigate through the board for a more visually guided discussion. The facilitator originally locates the follow feature by selecting their profile picture in the Whiteboard roster. When follow is activated, a participant can pause following the facilitator to continue to move through and contribute to the board on their own. With just one click, the participant can resume follow to get back to where the facilitator is at any time. Microsoft Teams Rooms devices will also be enhanced with automatic follow sessions, bringing greater flexibility for you in the conference room for hybrid work. Follow will start rolling out to Microsoft 365 users with a work account by the end of the calendar year.
Enhance the look and legibility of your whiteboard with automatic resizing of text inside sticky notes so you can add more lines of text without needing to scroll. Text inside sticky notes now also automatically scales in text size as you resize the sticky note, increasing legibility, even at lower zoom levels. Finally, text formatting features like bold, italics and underlining, as well as a new, more professional default font, help emphasize your fresh ideas across notes, text boxes, and shapes. For Microsoft 365 commercial users, auto-resize text in notes is now generally available and text formatting will be rolling out to general availability by the end of the calendar year.
Create collaborative relationships by knowing who is contributing notes and feedback with sticky note attribution. Sticky note attribution will start rolling out to Microsoft 365 commercial users by the end of the calendar year.
Whiteboard is a new Microsoft Loop endpoint, enabling you to copy and paste Loop components into Whiteboard from Teams chat and soon from Outlook mail and Word for the web. Loop components in Whiteboard help your team continue adding information to lists, tables and more while they brainstorm in Whiteboard. Changes made in Loop components in Whiteboard will stay in sync across all the places the component has been shared, ensuring everyone has the latest info. Copy and paste Loop components in Whiteboard will start rolling out to be generally available for Microsoft 365 commercial users in the coming months.
After the meeting
The collaboration doesn’t have to end after a synchronous meeting! The whiteboard you and your participants collaborated on can be accessed in the Teams chat under the Whiteboard tab. With the ease of Whiteboard integration in Teams, you and your participants can continue collaborating on the same whiteboard asynchronously. For your next synchronous meeting, start again with open existing Whiteboard in Teams Meetings and show the progress of iterative collaboration in between meetings.
With comments you can share your thoughts, celebrate with your teammates, or just have a conversation. You can create an anchored comment that will stay connected to the content being shared, keeping things simple and effective, while comment bubbles help you understand the sentiment and find areas where there is more discussion on the content. Commenting will start rolling out to Microsoft 365 commercial users by the end of the calendar year.
We hear from customers every day that while the future of work may be evolving, one thing remains clear—it’s never been more important for people to be able to collaborate effectively wherever and whenever. We continue to be committed and focused to meet this need, so both remote and in-person attendees can visually collaborate across the same digital canvas. To get started, try Whiteboard today.
Did you know? The Microsoft 365 Roadmap is where you can get the latest updates on productivity apps and intelligent cloud services. Check out what features are in development or coming soon on the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, or view Microsoft Whiteboard roadmap items here.
 Follow will not be generally available for school accounts.
Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.