Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Hard Mute

Hard mute has been a feature which I have wanted to see for a long time. I've voted on uservoice, asked in AMA's, said in feedback to the engineering team. To be fair I've been pretty vocal about it on social over the last year given what I do and standing to gain significantly from the add. As an MCT I teach regularly in Teams. I do sessions on the speaker circuit. I organise conferences. As part of my day job I do a lot of webinars and meetings. So the ability to prevent attendees unmuting is a real pragmatic add - one which will be warmly received by the tech community as a huge gap which has now been sewn up. Teachers, presenters, instructors, sellers, marketers - all stand to benefit from it. Yet it is also fair to say that if most peoples experience of Teams meetings mirrors my own then the realities were nowhere near as bad as the noise and anxieties surrounding the lack of such a control. Personally, I've always found most people in meetings or in lessons to be very conscious, considerate, professional and take real care of using mute and to be honest, I can't think of a time where the noise was so persistent as to pull me off track apart from the odd instance of echo. In my time using Teams I've personally had more instances of demo failure. However, the feature is important not just in terms of what it actually does, but from the perspective that it gives the speaker absolute assurance that they aren't going to be interrupted - and that kind of peace of mind is invaluable particularly for the inexperienced speaker. Q&A will be better managed. Presenters won't be walking in a situation where discussion is ongoing and difficult to control. It's a shame this wasn't released to more fanfare, vis-à-vis custom backgrounds or together mode. Whilst I understand it probably opens up a seam of criticism as to why this wasn't always around earlier, we now have a tool in the toolkit for meeting management which we'll use all the time and it'll become fundamental to the Teams meeting experience