4 ways AI in PowerPoint will help you nail your next presentation

photo of a laptop and a coffee cup on a table

Whether it is for an upcoming sales meet or a school project report, the process of creating a presentation can be stressful and time consuming. Most of us tend to spend significant time designing the slides, instead of focusing on using PowerPoint for its primary purpose as a storytelling tool.

Is there a magic wand that you can wave and design a creative and sophisticated PowerPoint presentation in a jiffy? Here are some of our personal favorite AI features in PowerPoint that will help you do just that.

Never start from scratch again with PowerPoint Designer theme ideas

You might be ready with your content but that’s just half the battle won. Getting the right theme for your content is the most time-consuming part that usually involved scrolling through dozens of themes and crossing your fingers that it fits your entire presentation.

If that sounds familiar, it’s time to meet theme ideas in Designer. Now getting a presentation started is easier than ever. When you open a blank presentation and enter words onto the slide, Designer’s AI chooses the most suitable layouts for the content, intelligently crops images, and automatically recommends relevant icons and high quality photographs fully licensed for commercial use that reflect the slide text, along with theme styles and complementary colors.

a gif that shows design ideas at work

If your organization has a brand template, Designer for branded templates will ensure that the Design ideas you see are created directly from the layouts in slide master, so your slides always retain the brand guidelines.

Designer theme ideas is rolling out now in PowerPoint for Windows, Mac, and on the web for Office 365 subscribers. Designer for branded templates is currently available to Office 365 Insiders subscribers for Windows 10 and Mac.

Land your message with Designer Perspectives

Now that you have zeroed in on your theme and have your slides ready, it’s time to hone your messaging. Studies published by Microsoft Research have shown that adding relatable references for large numerical values makes information easier to understand and increases retention.

PowerPoint’s Designer Perspective, which is fueled by Microsoft Research’s Perspective Engine, will automatically suggest text that makes it easier for your audience to comprehend complicated numerical values.

a gif that shows designer perspectives at work

For instance, “Commercial planes fly at 30,000 feet” is hard to interpret. But adding “about the height of Mount Everest” makes it easier to understand – thus offering a great way for everyone to effectively convey information.

Practice your presentation delivery with Presenter Coach

With the slides finalized, it is time to practice your delivery, but you don’t have anyone to give you feedback. How about getting an AI coach?

With Presenter Coach in PowerPoint for the web, you can easily rehearse your presentation and get intelligent tips to improve your presentation skills.

Presenter Coach will help you pace your presentation, warn you about using filler words like “umm” or “basically”, or if you are just reading off your slides with on-screen guidance. The AI-powered tool will also alert you against culturally insensitive phrases, swear words and promotes the usage of gender-inclusive language – like ‘police officer’ instead of ‘policeman’.

At the end of every session it will also give you a summary of how you performed along with suggestions on how you can improve. Presenter Coach will be available on PowerPoint for the web later this summer.

Make inclusive presentations with live captions, subtitles, and alt-text

Ultimately, your presentation’s success depends on how well the audience can understand you. However, everyone’s experience of your presentation can be different. There might be people in the audience who are deaf or hard of hearing; or those who might have difficulty following your accent; or even those who don’t understand your language. This can be often the case if you are presenting to a large audience.

With PowerPoint’s live captioning and sub-title features, you can deliver inclusive presentations that can be better understood by everyone. Powered by Microsoft AI, the feature enables everyone to understand and participate in the presentation, by producing live captions.

You can also opt to display subtitles in a different language, to allow non-native speakers to get a translation of your presentation on their smartphone. Currently, on-screen caption and subtitle availability is supported in over 60 languages, while live captions and subtitles can be displayed in 12 languages.

If you are planning to share your presentation, the AI-powered alt-text suggestion feature will ensure all images have alternate text to make them inclusive for people who are blind or have low vision.

Hopefully, the next time you have to make a presentation, these AI features will spark a joy and not fill you with dread!

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