Microsoft Teams reveals some top tips for your online festive party

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It’s only a few weeks left till Christmas, and typically attention around this time of year would turn to the annual Xmas party at offices around the world. However, with coronavirus restrictions still in place for millions of people the office Christmas party – like many things this year – will be a very different affair in 2020. And if you’re struggling to find an alternative to your typical trip to the pub then Microsoft Teams may have just the solution for you.

In a post online, Microsoft highlighted a number of Teams features that could make the web conferencing service perfectly suited to hosting a digital office party.

The post said: “Whether your team is working hybrid or working around the world, it’s always great to stay connected personally and professionally with members of your team. Many teams use scheduled get-together meetings in Teams to hold book clubs, celebrate a special moment, or just gather together and catch up on weekend plans. Conversations are always central in these meet ups – but we also know that every get together can be more fun and connecting with quizzes and games. Within Microsoft Teams, there are several good options for hosting these events, virtually.”

First up, if you’re looking to recreate that pub quiz atmosphere for a digital meet up then you can always turn to the Kahoot! app.

This standalone app, which has Microsoft Teams integration, can be tailored so you can provide your own questions and answers for your team to test themselves against.

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If you’re struggling to come up with questions to ask then the Discover option within Kahoot! can help you craft the perfect Q&As for quiz night.

This can be done prior to a meeting kicking off, and then when the meeting begins you can simply start the quiz by launching the Kahoot! App tabs within Teams.

You’ll then have to expand the gameplay window and share that screen during your meeting so other members of your team can join in the fun.

Make sure you also use the include computer sound option when you share.

Once the Kahoot! gameplay screen has been shared, attendees can join in and answer questions from their own devices.

If you’d rather have a games night then you can also turn to Jackbox Games, who are the makers of several party games that can be played in person or digitally.

Games on offer from Jackbox include speech games like Talking Points, drawing games such as Drawful and witty quip game Quiplash.

Most of these games run between 15 to 25 minutes and have relatively straightforward rules, so they’re easy to pick up and play, and support up to eight to 10 players.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, then Microsoft advised the first step is the host of the meeting needs to get Jackbox Games on their PC or Mac.

This can be purchased via Steam, with games typically being bundled together in Party Packs of five games.

Then, once you’ve purchased Jackbox and got it ready to use you’ll have to use the Teams screen sharing option so that others can join in the fun.

You’ll also have to make sure you check the ‘include computer sound’ option.

Microsoft also offered a few other handy pointers if you wanted to use Jackbox Games in a Teams meeting…

• In the settings for Jackbox Games there’s a Family Friendly option – you may want to check that to ensure everything is above board.

• You can also filter out US-centric content in a number of Jackbox Games titles, which may be best if you’re not based in America.

• To keep the sound of the game from drowning out conversations, you may want to consider lowering the background music volume.

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