PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

PowerPoint Reinvented with Shawn Villaron

PRESENT TO SUCCEED LESSONS LEARNED

PowerPoint Reinvented with Shawn Villaron

In our Present to Succeed Lessons Learned series, we include all the fascinating, valuable, and wow moments from the sessions of our debut 2021 conference. We aim to share with you the best takeaways and help you improve your presentation craft every day.

Shawn Villaron has worked at Microsoft for more than 25 years and currently serves as the Vice President of Product for PowerPoint, Office Graphics, and Video. He has watched the evolution of PowerPoint from what it has been in 1996 to the cross-platform collaboration, service-based, and AI-powered experience it is today, thanks to his work at Microsoft.

Learn about the latest and greatest features you should be using and how Microsoft has reinvented the beloved product to support your presentation needs and make you a more successful presenter.

So, how might PowerPoint help you become a more effective presenter in today’s ever-changing environment?

The Evolution of PowerPoint

No one knows PowerPoint better than Shawn does. This ubiquitous tool turned 34 in 2021, and for 25 of those, he has been around to witness that incredible journey.

Shawn demonstrated in his session that PowerPoint is not the same Microsoft program from the past. They are no longer solely concerned with the presentation, but rather with assisting you with your entire presentation journey. PowerPoint today leverages AI to help you from start to finish with PowerPoint Designer, Presenter Coach, and then with PowerPoint Live.

He shared that PowerPoint’s mission has always been quite simple: to empower people and organizations to tell the world’s most compelling stories to anyone, anywhere. Shawn also hinted at where things might be going for PowerPoint in the next two to three years.

More and more people want to work from their browser, tablet, or phone, which is now possible. Shawn highlighted that the PowerPoint constellation exists, that is how they call it in Microsoft, which is what ties all the devices you use together. PowerPoint is everywhere where you might need it, including the Mac platform.

Collaborating and Sharing PowerPoint Presentations

Shawn said that in 1987, it would have been hard to share and collaborate on presentations. But today to be successful, you have to do exactly that, as well as receive solid feedback and input. The aim is to make bringing people in as seamless as possible.

Now you can share and control who can see and download your presentation within the app. You also have a version history, which allows you to see who has contributed and where. Shawn mentioned two aspects of PowerPoint that he finds particularly useful for collaboration:

Durable slide links

When you want to share only one slide from your presentation, for example only slide four, the link that you send will lead to that slide, even if you rearrange the slides.

Support of comments in Outlook

When someone leaves a comment mentioning you, you get an email notification that they need your help. What’s even better is that you can reply to it right in the email you receive. You do not even have to open PowerPoint if you do not need to. When collaborating, this can help you be more efficient with your time.

Today, to be successful, you have to be able to collaborate and get feedback easily and PowerPoint has already developed the functionalities to make collaboration seamless.

PowerPoint AI

Artificial intelligence is an area where PowerPoint has leaned into in the last five years. And it is something that has an ever-increasing impact on PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Designer

When you add content to PowerPoint, like a picture or some text, the PowerPoint Designer already runs in the background using AI to look at your content and see if it can come up with some useful suggestions for how it can build your slide for you. PowerPoint Designer can detect timelines for you and help you move from text-based communication to a more visual-based communication by suggesting backgrounds based on the content on your slide.

With PowerPoint Designer and the AI behind it, you can jumpstart your presentations with great composition and visuals more easily than ever.

Presenter Coach

Presenting is one of the most feared and avoided activities still. People are terrified of presenting in front of others, but it’s so important if you have a story to tell. You may not always have access to professional coaches, or you may not have the time or feel comfortable rehearsing alone.

Presenter Coach’s goal is to give you real-time feedback and help you improve your public speaking skills by using voice critiques. Have visual critiques that can give you feedback if you are not looking at the camera or remind you to lift your head from your notes. It recognizes and helps you resolve the most common problems you might have while you deliver your presentations. Its goal is not to replace a real professional coach, but to be complimentary.

Presenter Coach gives you real-time feedback about your speaking pace, pitch, and reminds you to use fewer filler words when it detects that you are using any of them.

Hybrid as the New Normal

Shawn also talked about remote and hybrid presentations and what we can expect from PowerPoint in that direction. He started by mentioning what you already have that eases any remote or hybrid presenting as features in PowerPoint.

PowerPoint Web Presenting

When you present in PowerPoint Web, you can send a QR code or a URL that lets your audience connect with you. This allows new features like that that your audience can follow along with the deck, navigate on their own, go back to the current slide quickly or turn on captions in real-time which can be turned into subtitles into their preferred language.

After you have finished presenting, your audience is prompted to provide their feedback on how you did so that you can see where you can improve. These features make your presentations more engaging and increase the connection between you and your audience.

PowerPoint and Microsoft Teams = PowerPoint Live

PowerPoint Live refers to the integrations that PowerPoint has with Microsoft Teams. Inside Teams, you can present with an all-in-one Presenter’s View, and you can interact with your audience via chat, video, or reactions that they can send.

Attendees can interact with your slides by clicking on hyperlinks and videos, and you can instantly shift control of the presentation to your co-presenter, so joint presenting is easier than ever. Moreover, the visual quality is unrivaled, thanks to native PowerPoint Web technology that delivers higher fidelity than any compressed video that is screen shared. And the best thing is that it all takes up less bandwidth.

Let's summarize

Shawn Villaron provided a fantastic demo of the capabilities that PowerPoint has gained in the last few years, like PowerPoint Designer, Presenter Coach, or PowerPoint Live. He shared that PowerPoint will focus on easing remote and hybrid presenting and hinted at some of the new features that will be probably coming soon, such as having Presentation Designer be able to have design suggestions for the right to left languages.

Now you know why PowerPoint Designer, Presenter Coach, and PowerPoint Live should be on your radar if you are a presenter that uses PowerPoint.

Let us know what the most valuable learning was from Shawn Villaron’s session for you in the comments!

Shawn’s session is part of our Tools track recordings that you can get for only €39. And for €79, you can have all the 30+ sessions from Present to Succeed 2021.

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Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!

Join Present to Succeed - the biggest presentation skills conference in the world

Whether you are part of an organization or running a business, how your slides look will always factor in your success. Learn how to become an influential speaker by joining our 30+ industry-leading speakers’ sessions.

Start engaging your audience better and influencing them to embrace your concepts, hire you, or buy your products. Now is the best moment to get your ticket!