This new PowerPoint feature could make your presentations more entertaining

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Office 365 PowerPoint users are gaining a new feature that should make it easier to record slide-based presentations when working from the office or home.

The feature — which relies on a PC’s mic, video camera and PowerPoint slides — is part of Microsoft’s efforts to reshape its software for collaboration in hybrid work arrangements by making it easier for people to record their slides presentation.

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Video startup Vimeo released Vimeo Record last year, a free Chrome extension that helps people record Slides and PowerPoint presentations.

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Microsoft’s new built-in PowerPoint recording studio feature will make it easier for its Office 365 users to do that within the product rather than via a Chrome extension.

“Recording studio in PowerPoint lets you tell your story, in your own words, helping you deliver more impactful and engaging presentations,” Microsoft says in a blogpost.

“Making recording less stressful frees you to focus on instructing, inspiring, and entertaining those who watch your presentation,” it said.

PowerPoint users can now click a “Record” button in the top right corner in PowerPoint. They’re then shown a personalized view that can be customized.

After clicking Record, a red “Record” button is shown and offers a countdown for the user to start speaking. Users can also annotate slides using ink and a laser pointer.

The default view is the “teleprompter view” that lets users look at the device’s camera and read notes. There’s also a “presenter view” to see the slides the user is presenting that works like PowerPoint Live in Microsoft Teams, and a minimalist “Slideview” that helps with making annotations.

After recording a presentation, users can preview the video, re-record it and then share it via a share button. Users can also update a slide directly without the need to re-record the voice and video portion of a presentation.

“Your recording – including your video, voice, slides, and annotations – are all captured and recorded as part of the presentation,” Microsoft explains.

After editing, the user needs to click an “Export” button in the Record tab to see the video.

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The service relies on Microsoft Stream, the company’s view service that’s underpinned by SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for storing videos across all Microsoft 365 products, including Teams and Yammer.

Microsoft unveiled its broader ambitions for Stream at Ignite 2020 last September. Ignite 2021 is on this week where Microsoft announced improvements to Azure database services and Loop, a rebrand of its Fluid Framework for collaboration and project-management.

The Loop app, which is rolling out now, is a canvas with portable components that can stay in sync across apps while users create as a team. It’s part of the Office suite available to customers with Microsoft 365 commercial licenses. It will be extended to Teams, OneDrive, Office.com, and the Office mobile apps.

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