A stylized 3D image of a PowerPoint presentation on a peach/coral-colored background

Use Copilot to create and edit awesome PowerPoint presentations

july 1, 2024

Are you looking for an efficient way of creating modern, multi-slide PowerPoint presentations? If so, then Microsoft Copilot is a game-changer!

In this article, we are going to explore how to use Copilot and AI design tool Microsoft Designer in PowerPoint to quickly create and edit presentations.

Set yourself up for Success: Copilot pre-requisites

In PowerPoint, the Copilot icon can be found on the Home ribbon.

A screenshot of where you can find Copilot in PowerPoint

If the Copilot button is greyed out (inaccessible), we need to make sure that we have completed the following steps:

  • Save the presentation to the OneDrive account associated with your Copilot licence (File > Save As > OneDrive).
  • Toggle on autosave.
A screenshot of the autosave toggle

Create a presentation with Copilot

In this scenario, we are a tech startup called Infotech. We are looking to create a sales pitch presentation to dazzle potential investors.

Let’s use Copilot to help us with this.

Create a blank presentation

  • Open PowerPoint.
  • From the File tab, click New and select Blank Presentation.
A screenshot of what it looks when you select "Create a new presentation" in PowerPoint
  • From the Home tab, click Copilot to open the Copilot Preview pane.

The Copilot pane

The Copilot pane is split into halves. The top half shows three prompt suggestions, which are a good place to start when using Copilot.

A screenshot of the Copilot pane

The lower half is where we type our prompts and ask questions. We can also specify if we want to work within this presentation or if we want to work with our organization’s data.

  • Select Using this presentation.
A screenshot within PowerPoint where you select "Using this presentation"

Note: The prompt area has dictation capabilities which can be useful for people with accessibility or mobility issues. Click the microphone icon to speak instead of type.

  • In the prompt box, type the following: “Create a sales pitch presentation for a tech startup called Infotech to impress potential investors and secure investments. The tone should be professional.”
A screenshot of the prompt box within PowerPoint
  • Click Send.

Copilot will generate a multi-slide presentation with sample, placeholder text. This text is AI-generated based on the prompt you provided.

A screenshot of Copilot's presentation options

Redesign slides with Microsoft Designer

Often, the AI-generated images used in the presentation won’t be exactly what you want. You may want to use your own company images instead.

  • Click on an image in the presentation.
  • From the Picture Format tab, in the Adjust group, click Change Picture.
  • Choose a picture source from the drop-down list.
A screenshot of the PowerPoint panel where you can change the picture

In this example, I’m going to use a Stock Image.

  • Click Insert.
A screenshot of PowerPoint's built-in stock photos

We can change the look and feel of each slide in our presentation by using an existing AI tool, Microsoft Designer. The Designer pane will open each time you insert an image into a slide unless you have disabled the setting.

If you don’t see the Designer pane open automatically, click the Home tab and then Designer.

  • Choose a new design to apply to the slide.
A screenshot of the new slide design
  • Repeat this process for each slide in the deck.

Designer helps us quickly redesign slides and achieve a consistent look.

A screenshot of all PowerPoint slides in the presentation

Edit the presentation with Copilot

We can use Copilot to make edits and structural change to our presentation.

Reword text on a slide.

  • Select the text placeholder.
  • In the prompt area type “Reword the text in this placeholder”.
A screenshot of the Copilot prompt box in PowerPoint
  • Click Send.
A screenshot of the slides with the text replaced

Delete and organize slides

We can use Copilot to help us delete slides and organize the presentation into sections.

Delete slides

  • Click in the prompt area.
  • Type the prompt, “Delete the last slide in the presentation”.
  • Click Send.

Organize the presentation

We can use Copilot to organize our presentation by adding sections.

  • In the prompt area, type, “Organize this presentation”.
  • Click Send.

Copilot will add sections to the presentation and any other slides it feels might be necessary. We can see a summary of the changes made to the presentation in the Copilot pane.

A screenshot of Copilot's organizational suggestions

Summarize the presentation

Copilot can summarize large presentations and produce a concise overview. This is useful if you are looking to send an email that gives people a summary of the key points in the presentation.

  • Click in the prompt area.
  • Type the prompt, “Summarize this presentation”.
  • Click Send.

Copilot will return a summary of the deck with references. The reference number tells us which slide in the desk the summary item relates to.

A screenshot of Copilot's summary of the slide deck
  • Click Copy to copy the summary to the clipboard.
A screenshot of the button that lets you copy Copilot's summary

We can now paste this information into an Outlook email, a Teams channel, a Word document etc.

Speaker notes

A cool feature of Copilot is that it automatically creates speaker notes and adds them to the presentation.

  • Click the View tab.
  • In the Show group, click Notes.
A screenshot of where Notes lives on the PowerPoint ribbon

The notes will show at the bottom of the slide. Notes can be edited and will be displayed when using Presenter view.

A screenshot of the speaker notes at the bottom of the presentation

Create a presentation from a file

When we create a presentation from scratch using Copilot, the text and images are generated by Copilot’s AI. This means the text and images can be somewhat generic and may not be tailored to our organization.

We can create more customised presentations by starting with an existing document.

  • From File, click New and choose Blank presentation.
  • On the Home tab, click Copilot.
  • Choose the prompt, “Create a presentation from file…”.
A screenshot of where in Copilot you can select "Create a presentation from a file"

In this example we are going to use an existing Word document. To use an existing file, the file needs to be saved in OneDrive.

  • Click the Files tab.
  • Select the file from the list.
A screenshot of the file selection process in PowerPoint

Alternatively, we can paste the link to the OneDrive file directly into the prompt area.

  • Open the file.
  • Click Share and Copy Link.
  • Click Copy.
A screenshot of the PowerPoint link you can copy
  • Go back to PowerPoint and paste the link into the prompt area.
A screenshot of what it looks like when you select a file
  • Click Send.

Copilot will use the information and images in the file to build a presentation. It will automatically add notes to each slide and show you the outline the presentation will be based on.

We can then use Designer to redesign our slides or manually make changes.

A screenshot of the presentation Copilot and Designer made from the selected file

Conclusion

What do you think of Microsoft Copilot and Designer in PowerPoint?

Remember, we’ve only scratched the surface here with what Copilot can do. I encourage you to try it out for yourself and start unleashing the power of AI!

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