Recently I was working on a project and I needed to deliver a presentation to a client. But for this particular presentation, the standard old PowerPoint wasn't going to cut it. We needed a more interactive experience, mobile friendly, a way to incorporate video and images along with my topical content. As any good presenter tries to target the content to the audience, a different tool was needed. After reviewing the available options, I decided to investigate Microsoft Sway. Recently out of preview, Sway is now a free part of the Office 356 service portfolio (or can be used separately outside of 365). I was able to map my ideas in the tool canvas quickly and efficiently and within a short time I knew I had found the right tool.
Can it be right for you? Let's take a look at its features and see if we can formulate some use cases.
Uses of Sway:
Analytics: Sway can be used to create a report, or send out a newsletter or give an update. And now you can also use power BI while creating reports for Sway.
Presentations: "No matter how technically sound you are, your presentation always matters". This is as true for an organization, as for an individual. We do have conventional tools today with good capabilities, but at the cost of effort and time. Sway, unlike conventional tools, helps make effective presentations, with minimal effort and within a short time. All you need to have is an idea and content and sway will do the rest for you.
Tutorials: Teaching and learning happens every day in business, not only for individuals but also for large business organizations. Sway helps to make tutorials using videos, images and of course text, in a very effective way.
Collaborate: "Collaboration" is a need of every day, when our clients and colleagues or project teammates are all over the globe and need to work together. Sway allows the user to collaborate with anyone, anywhere, by just sharing a link of the sway document.
Basic Features of Sway:
Drag and Drop: A user can easily drag and drop photos or pictures that best expresses his or her sway!
Cloud Native: There is no specific requirements for storing images and contents that will be used to create a sway. You can drop it through cloud storage or a personal device or social networks.
Fit to Any Device: A sway, once created, can be viewed on any device, irrespective of device size and resolution. Therefore, a sway will adjust itself to a cell phone as easily as it does to personal computer or large screen.
Interactive and Effortless Design: Sway content can be interactive, by arranging it in preferred layout , stacking images together if they belong to one group, etc. One important thing with content is, not only arrangement, but also highlighting the main points, which can be images or simple text. To do this, you need just a click, which emphasizes the text or image.
How can I use sway in my business apart from my personal use?
Well, by now, you might have an overall idea of what sway is all about, but at the same time might be wondering, if you can use sway in business as you can use for your personal use. And the answer is YES!
A successful business, small or large, always keeps its customers informed via updates. On the other hand flourishing new businesses grab attention of customers by marketing their product. All this needs a sense of creativity. Let's see the usage of sway for the same reasons.
Information template: There are many instances when we need to share an information template, internally for employees or with clients and consumers. Using sway, it is pretty easy to create one and share with the public or specified group.
Blog the sway way: As sway allows the incorporation of all forms of media including images and videos, and as there is freedom in the user interaction, it's a better option to showcase your expertise coupled with creativity.
Collaboration: As discussed above, sway is a great way to collaborate all around the globe and within a company.
Show me the sway way:
Below is the link to some sample sway presentations from the Microsoft community, that will help you gather inspiration for sway!
Sample sway- https://sway.com/red_panda
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