Having everyone assigned the presenter permission by default in Microsoft Teams has been causing issues for some organisations, especially education. With the availability of a new meeting policy setting to change this, we explore what the options available are and what each setting means for you.
Last week, we posted the second of our Microsoft Teams Tips videos on our YouTube channel where we discussed setting the presenter permission for your meetings. If you haven’t seen this then please, take a look and let us know what you’d like to see us discussing.
Since we posted that video, Microsoft has now, silently as far as we can tell from the blog and tweet spheres, made a change in Microsoft Teams that allows you to configure the default presenter permission for your organisation.
As a new feature this is only available via PowerShell at the moment. If you haven’t used Microsoft Teams via PowerShell before then you’re missing out so take a look at the Teams PowerShell Overview document at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/teams-powershell-overview for more information.
Setting the default presenter permission
As we said above, this setting is only available via PowerShell but we hope that it will come to the admin interface at some stage too. The setting itself is called DesignatedPresenterRoleMode and can be accessed via the Meeting Policy commands.
As we know from the Roles in a Teams Meeting support article at https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/roles-in-a-teams-meeting-c16fa7d0-1666-4dde-8686-0a0bfe16e019, the Presenter role is just as powerful as the Organiser role so we don’t want that being given to everyone. This new policy setting gives us the following options.
Let’s break each of these down to determine what they mean and how best they can be applied.
This is the default setting and means that everyone is a presenter by default. We see this as a bad setting choice to have as the default for most organisations and would urge you to think about changing it for your company to something more secure.
This setting means that any user who is authenticated within your own organisation can be a presenter but external participants will not. This is a good starting position, however, remember that from our previous post where we address what the scope of the People in My Organisation group actually is, this could still be too generous as it will include guest users within your tenant.
If you are only working with guest users from trusted partners or other organisations this may be an a good setting to use for the presenter permission, however, we would not recommend this option for school, college, or university use.
As an aside, remember that unless you have changed the permissions in Azure Active Directory to restrict who can add guest users to your tenant, anyone can do this. This means that it is entirely possible for there to be guest users that aren’t 100% trustworthy to have classified in this group.
This setting name is a mouthful. It’s very similar to the setting above except that it adds federated organisations into the presenter permission too.
Federation is different to guest access because with federation (external access) you are opening your organisation up ever-so slightly to a trusted organisation. This means that users in that external organisation can more easily work with your business on Microsoft Teams. You can read more about federation and external access at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/communicate-with-users-from-other-organizations.
This is a useful setting for assigning the default presenter permission, however, it is only of use if you are actively using federation and external access. If you are only using guest access then it becomes irrelevant and you are just as well placed using the EveryoneInCompanyUserOverride setting above.
If you are keen on making things as secure as possible or if you are in an education setting then this will be the setting for you to use.
The OrganizerOnlyUserOverride setting means that by default, only the organiser of the meeting will be made a presenter.
The only issue that this setting will present (pardon the pun) is that if you have somebody setting up meetings as the organiser who then doesn’t plan to or fails to attend the meeting. Using this OrganizerOnlyUserOverride setting means that there would then be no presenters in the meeting and nobody with the permission to promote somebody to be a presenter.
If you want to use this setting we would encourage you to ensure your users know how they can delegate additional users to become presenters using the Meeting Options button within Microsoft Teams. We covered this in our YouTube video on the subject.
Assignment of per-user permissions in Microsoft Teams
This new DesignatedPresenterRoleMode permission setting is a per-user policy means means it has to be created as part of a Meeting Policy in Microsoft Teams.
We’ve tested to confirm this ahead of posting this article and it is possible to add this setting to the Global policy which is assigned to all users by default so that’s a valid and good option to provide a wide-level of base security.
Using additional per-user policies you can fine-tune this to make it more flexible and allow specific users to do more. For example, in a school you may want to set the default setting to only assign the presenter permission to the meeting organiser by default but then allow IT and a non-student facing departments a per-user policy setting of everyone in the organisation.
Training users on the change
We wanted to highlight this point and this is around training. If you are going to be making changes to user permissions and policies in Microsoft Teams ensure that you are updating and training your users.
Changing the default presenter permission to organiser only, for example, might cause a problem for people setting up new meetings. If they haven’t used meeting roles before because they are accustomed to everyone already being a presenter, they will need to know how to change that.
Remember that this new setting is a default: it’s not mandatory. Once a user has set-up a meeting or is in the meeting then they can promote and demote people as before. This new setting is about getting the initial assignment of the presenter role correct.
Microsoft Teams policy and governance
Arcible works extensively with Microsoft Teams. If you are new to using it, looking to get set-up using it, or want to know more about how you can secure, manage, and get the most out of your Microsoft Teams investment then please, get in touch.