Have you heard about Microsoft Sway? Do you know what it really does and are you wondering if it would suit your business? Read on…
Briefly, a Sway is a combination of cards that can feature text, images, videos and audio, all of which can also be grouped together. When combined, cards make up a story-line. When this story-line is played, nothing is separated and instead scrolls continuously across the screen. But when is the right time to use it?
When Should Sway be used?
When media is more important than text – Sway is optimised for imagery, video and other media, so if most of your presentation revolves around these, Sway is brilliant. For text-heavy presentations, PowerPoint could be considered instead.
When you want to improve audience interactivity – One major difference between Sway and other presentation tools such as PowerPoint, is that you can embed changeable content like social media sites and iframes. For a presentation that aims to engage the audience as much as possible, this is very effective.
When content is more important than the customisation – Sway makes the content the focus of the presentation and keeps the formatting simple, albeit with plenty of options. There is a large choice of themes, fonts and transitions – there is also the Remix! Option, which randomly selects fonts and layouts from the menu, meaning you don’t have to spend time choosing styles if you don’t want to.
When a document is unnecessary or inconvenient – Sways are stored in the cloud on your Office 365 account. A Sway can be shared between users, a particular business’s employees, or with anyone provided with a certain link. This can however be somewhat limiting, as Sways cannot be converted and shared as documents – you can link people to a sway but you cannot convert a Sway into an offline format.
When should you not use sway?
It doesn’t make sense to use Sway for all content, but how do you know when to use something else?
When layout design makes a difference – Though it does provide plenty of good thematic choices, Sway remains lacking in customisation options compared to alternative presentations tools.
You choose from a predefined selection of options, without the ability to customise existing themes.You have no control over the positioning or appearance of cards, despite being able to create them yourself.
The only text alterations that you can make are bold and italics – there are no whole flow font colour changes or altering fonts between cards.
You cannot animate cards in any way, which Microsoft PowerPoint allows you to do.
If you favour printing over computer displayed presentations
A surprising number of businesses are still using printed instead of computer based presentations. The fact is that business habits can be hard to alter, and some still prefer to use printouts over a computer. If your business still requires paper copies, Sway may not be the tool for you as it is strictly cloud based and cannot be printed off or converted into a document in any way.
Sway has some limitations, as with any program, and depending on what you want to present, PowerPoint and other tools can be sufficient for your needs. However, when you need a presentation that’s interactive, media heavy and imagery rich, or able to be shared easily, Sway is certainly the best choice.
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