Remote Work and Learning with Microsoft PowerPoint

Software for making and delivering presentations is important for both companies and students. As the standard tool for building well-designed presentations, Microsoft PowerPoint is an indispensable part of nearly every company’s digital toolbox. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing everyone to work from home, PowerPoint is still as useful as ever, even if the way you work with it has changed.

Like Word and Excel, PowerPoint offers collaboration features that make it extremely easy to to work with other people on the same document at the same time, even from halfway across the world. You can share a document stored in OneDrive with any number of people within your organization who can edit the presentation simultaneously in their own copy of PowerPoint.

The primary change caused by the move to remote work is that in-person presentations have largely been replaced by screen sharing in video conferencing applications. Although actually using PowerPoint to make the presentation works just the same, the process of giving an online presentation requires presenting to a new window and sharing that window with the video call. That way, other windows on the computer won’t interrupt the presentation or otherwise interfere.

PowerPoint includes a variety of advanced integrations with other Microsoft Office applications that make it especially useful. Companies might have data in Excel spreadsheets, documents in Word, or even visualizations in Visio, Microsoft’s diagramming software. PowerPoint can import and use charts, graphs, and other data visualizations automatically, even changing the visualization as the underlying data changes. PowerPoint also has the most complete support for all kinds of transitions, designs, and animations within slideshow presentations.

In addition to remote work, remote education can also take advantage of PowerPoint. Although giving a presentation over a video conference is a little different from standing up in front of a large audience, it’s still a very useful skill for students to become familiar with, especially since public speaking and giving presentations are commonly required skills in the real world. Plus, PowerPoint is perfect for teachers to deliver lectures over video conferencing applications.

A few PowerPoint extensions offer real-time audience polling functionality, which can be especially helpful when conducting online presentations. Although audience members can unmute from the video call and interrupt the presentation at any time, audience polling is oftentimes an easier solution to the problem. For education, audience polling allows teachers to make presentations and ask students questions throughout the lesson to increase engagement.

In general, PowerPoint is just as useful in today’s remote-first work and learning environment as it was in the past. Collaborating with others on new presentations, delivering presentations over video conferencing applications like Microsoft Teams, and polling or quizzing audience members are all functions that make PowerPoint an integral part of the digital toolkit used by companies and schools everywhere. Want to learn more or get help integrating Microsoft 365 into your company? Reach out to VForce, experts in both Microsoft 365 and remote work.