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Microsoft Innovations: A Bigger Office in a Small Briefcase

Presentation software has advanced at an incredible rate. Only last year, Microsoft has released Sway, a new application that lets people tell stories with embedded content. The company has also been updating its Office every year to improve its customers’ experience by developing even more innovative features.

Among Microsoft’s most useful tools, PowerPoint has been around for quite some time, and it seems like it’s here to stay with its added features.

Here are some of the things you can expect from PowerPoint this year:

Enhanced Interactivity

A common complaint against PowerPoint is its one-sidedness. It’s a static visual aid that needs to be explained by a speaker on all occasions.

However, the presentation aid is now more interactive with additional functions like video and audio narration and live digital inking, which allows you to walk your audience through your presentation in real time. Similar to broadcasting your presentations in PowerPoint 2010, once you upload your file online and start your slideshow, your audience will follow your pace as you go through each slide.

While these functions don’t replace your physical presence, it’s bridged the gap between presenters and their audience from different locations and time zones by letting them pitch and collaborate anytime, anywhere.

You can also upload and share your slides online so people can access it easily without needing to pitch it personally. This especially works for the benefit of clients who missed your presentation the first time.

More User-Friendly

PowerPoint has always been an easily usable tool. It lets users create a visually appealing presentation with just a few clicks. If you’re not confident with your design skills, you can tap into any of the program’s templates, which come with pre-set layouts.

Microsoft has managed to create an even more user-friendly aid for those who have difficulty with their flagship presentation program.

On July 2015, Microsoft released Sway, a presentation app that makes presentation design a breeze for first-timers or for anyone who has a hard time choosing their own layout. Instead of slides, Sway presents the user with cards they can group together or rearrange to create a narrative around their pitch.

Decks that tell a story appeal to people’s emotions more, swaying them in favor of your pitch. Click to Tweet

As far as audience conviction goes, that’s a pretty good strategy. Decks that tell a story appeal to people’s emotions more, swaying them in favor of your pitch.

Storytelling is one of the key methods in getting your audience’s attention, and Sway does just that for its user—without the added hassle.

Better Design

As a visual aid, your deck should live up to its name and be visually appealing. Microsoft understands this need, so it’s developed add-ons that can improve your layout experience.

In late 2015, Microsoft released Designer and Morph, two tools to innovate slide design.

Once you upload an image to PowerPoint, Designer suggests a color scheme to match your images and keep you consistent. It also offers a vast amount of layout options that are suited to your content, thanks to its smart image analysis. On the other hand, Morph lets you create basic animation with fluid effects without seeming too out of place on your deck. After clicking the Morph option on your Transitions tab, simply drag the element you want to animate in the path you want it to go. Once the slideshow plays, the animated object will move on its own without need for prompts or clicks.

These two additional design game-changers are a big help to presenters everywhere who want to come up with a good deck on their own.

What’s In Store for Us?

The future of PowerPoint is here—and it’s looking good. Microsoft innovations like this program provides optimal user experience with increased accessibility.

Tap into PowerPoint’s enhanced interactivity to share your slides and pitch to your audience anywhere you are. If you aren’t much of a PowerPoint person, try out Microsoft’s latest presentation app, Sway, for decks that tell good stories. If you’re up to play around with your slide design, PowerPoint Designer and Morph have just made it easier to layout content and arrange basic images into a fluid animation.

 

References:

Kedmey, Dan. “Microsoft’s New App Is PowerPoint for People Who Hate PowerPoint.” Time. August 5, 2015. www.time.com/3984284/microsoft-sway-powerpoint-release
Koenigsbauer, Kirk. “The evolution of PowerPoint—introducing Designer and Morph – Office Blogs.” Office Blogs. November 13, 2015. blogs.office.com/2015/11/13/the-evolution-of-powerpoint-introducing-designer-and-morph/
“Broadcast Your PowerPoint Presentation to a Remote Audience.” Office. n.d. support.office.com/en-us/article/Broadcast-your-PowerPoint-presentation-to-a-remote-audience-25330108-518e-44be-a281-e3d85f784fee

 

Featured Image: “P83A8911” by jdholmes on flickr.com

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