What to Know Before Installing Copilot for PowerPoint


Imagine having an AI assistant that seamlessly integrates with your PowerPoint workflow, pulling from your notes, existing documents, and databases to create compelling presentations. That’s the power of Copilot for PowerPoint, and it’s set to revolutionize how you work with slides.

Anyone who’s worked with PowerPoint knows the unique pain of editing pages of research down into slide-ready bullets, fighting to get it laid into a format, fiddling over charts, and trying to remember where the company stored all your available stock photography. With Copilot, you’ll never have to worry about that again. With a few clever prompts, it can do all that for you—cutting your prep time from hours to minutes and making your presentations more beautiful and original than ever.

Copilot for PowerPoint is scheduled for release in 2024 for users with a Copilot M365 license. If you work for an organization that values efficiency and productivity, this feature will be a game-changer.


Copilot for PowerPoint

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What is Copilot for PowerPoint?


Microsoft Copilot for PowerPoint is an artificial intelligence-powered assistant designed to help you create presentations in minutes. It can summarize Excel, Teams, or Microsoft Word documents and translate them into presentation slides complete with photos, charts, and graphics. Copilot can work with your established presentation formats or create new ones based on PowerPoint’s extensive template library. It serves up your slides with suggested photos from your company archives and can translate your text into numerous languages.


How Copilot for PowerPoint Works


Copilot for PowerPoint is an AI assistant that sits in a panel to the right of your screen. In practice, it is a bit like marrying the power of a Chat-GPT-like search engine with the tools available in your PowerPoint stack. Feed it source documents, ask it questions, and let it collaborate with you. It frees you from the grunt work of physically creating the slides while freeing you to spend more time thinking about the content and direction of the presentation.

It can help you:

Draft Presentations: Need to create a new slide deck? Provide Copilot with prompts, and it will generate initial content. You can do this by providing a link to a document you’ve already created, such as meeting notes, a Word document, or an annual report. Tell it about your audience and how long you want the presentation to be, and hit enter. Copilot will generate your slide text for you and drop it into a format of your choice.

Transform Existing Content: Do you have an old presentation that needs a facelift? Copilot can rewrite and improve your slides. Ask it to remove specific details, update with new information, or shorten/lengthen a presentation. It can also suggest new, compelling slide formats, generate new graphs, and more.

Collaborate with Ease: Brainstorm with Copilot as your AI partner. Discuss ideas, refine content, and explore different angles—all within PowerPoint itself. Share it with your colleagues through Teams, and they can collaborate on the document in the same way.

When you have AI on your team, you can create presentations in a whole new way.


Six Key Features of Copilot for PowerPoint


What can Copilot in PowerPoint do for you? Here’s a rundown of some of its most powerful capabilities.

#1—Presentation Creation: Copilot can generate draft presentations from outlines, existing documents, or verbal prompts. Whether you’re starting from scratch or need to expand on an idea, Copilot provides an initial draft you can edit and refine.

#2—Smart Suggestions: As you type, Copilot predicts what you might want to say next. For instance, if you’re drafting a proposal, Copilot might suggest relevant sections or provide a likely ending for the sentence you’re working on.

#3—Transforming Existing Content: Copilot doesn’t stop at new drafts. It can enhance your existing content, too. Whether you’re revising a client presentation or simplifying an introduction, Copilot streamlines the editing process.

#4—Collaboration Made Easy: If you’re stuck, click the “Inspire Me” button. Copilot will keep writing, adding points and information to keep your presentation flowing. It’s like having an AI brainstorming partner.

#5—Creating from Word Documents: Copilot can turn Word documents into PowerPoint presentations. Point Copilot to your Word file will generate slides, apply layouts, create speaker notes, and help you choose a theme.

#6—Language Support: Copilot Pro subscribers can use Copilot in the web versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. It supports several languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.


Copilot for PowerPoint Becomes Even More Powerful as You Work across M365


Copilot for PowerPoint is powerful within PowerPoint itself. But the real magic happens when it integrates with the other tools within M365. Here are some real-world examples of how that works.

Synthesize Multiple Documents in your Slides


Do you like the way a colleague’s recent presentation looked? Share a link to that presentation and ask Copilot for PowerPoint to design the presentation using the same format.

If you have information from several documents you’d like to include, cut and paste it into the AI prompt, and watch it summarize it in slide format. Or share a SharePoint link to a previous presentation and tell it to create a new slide using “the information from slide 17.” It will pull the information and load it into your latest presentation right where you want it.

Don’t know which artwork to show? Ask Copilot to search a folder in your OneDrive or SharePoint for relevant art and drop it into the spots where it will make the most impact.


Create Design Consistency Across Apps:


Imagine you’ve created a PowerPoint presentation you like. Copilot ensures consistency by suggesting similar design elements when you make a flyer in Publisher or a brochure in Word. Your branding remains cohesive across all collateral.


Data Visualization with Excel Integration:


Let’s say you have an Excel spreadsheet with information you want to include in your presentation. Include the link to the document or paste in the numbers, and Copilot for PowerPoint can generate smart art, labels, tables, and graphs that best tell your story,


Create SmartArt and Process Flows


Have you created a timeline or a process chart anywhere on M365? Link to it, and Copilot for PowerPoint can translate that to your presentation format. Using SmartArt and Shapes, Copilot for PowerPoint will create a process flow, organizational chart, or timeline, streamlining the design process.

As you can see, Copilot for PowerPoint is a powerful addition to your M365 lineup. But with all this AI integration, there’s always the risk of information contamination, sensitive documents being used, or copyright violations. So, with all that in mind, let’s examine the safety features baked into the program.


Is CoPilot for PowerPoint Data Safe?


The qualified answer to this question is yes—provided your organization has put in proper safeguards. Luckily, some protections are built into the program. Here’s what you can expect:

—Data Privacy: Copilot for PowerPoint adheres to privacy and compliance standards, including GDPR and EU Data Boundary regulations. Your data is not used to train its models, and your presentation documents remain protected within your M365 Cloud environment.


—Authentication and Compliance: Copilot integrates seamlessly with your existing Microsoft 365 Security features and supports two-factor and multifactor authentication programs.


—Data Boundaries: If you’ve set conditional access barriers on specific files, Copilot for PowerPoint respects those restrictions. It will not access or retrieve information from files you’ve designated as sensitive unless you already have the necessary permissions.


—Trustworthy Searches: Copilot pulls search information exclusively from your organization’s documents, minimizing the risk of AI-generated errors or hallucinations.


All these protections are wonderful, of course. They are not enough, however, to fully protect your company from the additional threats AI tools bring. Any time you incorporate a new tool into your network, we recommend a thorough cybersecurity review by your IT department, managed service provider, or a qualified cybersecurity consultant. Before you install the program, let’s talk about some of the safeguards you can implement on your end.


Preparing Your Organization for Copilot for PowerPoint


Before installing Copilot for PowerPoint, consider the following:

Make Conditional Access Mandatory—AI is only as good as the information it can search. It’s important that Copilot only draws from documents that are accurate—not filled with confidential information or regulated customer privacy data. Luckily, Microsoft has created “conditional access” features that allow you to mark your documents for the level of availability you want them to have on the SharePoint network. Now is the time to delete old files, restrict access to sensitive information, and designate which areas of your SharePoint network will be “AI searchable.”


Update Your Cybersecurity Training—Teach your employees how to use the conditional access features so they only pull safe and accurate documents into your PowerPoint presentations.


Create searchable artwork repositories—Chances are your organization has already purchased a bank of stock art/illustration and has many company logos and imagery. Now is the time to centralize all this inventory, noting when the licenses run out. Copilot for PowerPoint will have a database that is usable to search without worrying about copyright infringement.


As part of your pre-installation cybersecurity assessment, we recommend thoroughly examining your endpoint protections and multifactor authentication protocol. It’s essential that all the machines logging into your systems are watched for suspicious activity and that your signings continuously operate in a zero-trust framework. Considering that any hacker in your system can harness the power of AI to pull your information, it’s essential to have these safeguards in place.


Are You Ready to Invest in Copilot? We Can Help!


Integris is a national MSP that, as of this writing in the Spring of 2024, is signing up clients for the Copilot rollout. We can help you install and manage the new technology. Contact us now for a free consultation!


Susan Gosselin is a Senior Content Writer for Integris. A career communicator and business journalist, she's written extensively on IT topics and trends for IT service providers like Iconic IT and ProCoders Ukraine, as well as business publications such as Technologyadvice.com, Datamation.com, The Lane Report and many others. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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