Sway Preview: How to Make a Microsoft Sway Presentation

Written by Shawn Lyles

January 5, 2015

Sway Preview: How to Make a Microsoft Sway Presentation

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Sway Preview being available for everyone. In this blog post I am going to show you how to make a Sway, what other people are saying about Microsoft Sway and what my thoughts are.

Let me start off by saying that Microsoft Sway is not a replacement for PowerPoint for me yet. When it comes to my advanced presentation needs, PowerPoint is still king. Microsoft Sway just doesn’t have all the features that PowerPoint has. When I need to make a quick, simple presentation on my tablet or laptop, however, Microsoft Sway will be my go to presentation software now.

Okay, let’s jump right in to making a Sway! If you want to follow along with the instructions below, you will need to access Sway, which you can do from www.sway.com. Click the “Get Started!” button and login with a Microsoft account. Then…

Step 1: Click or Tap The “New” Button.

Step 2: Title Your Sway.

Step 3: Insert a background image for your Sway.

You have many options for acquiring content. You can pull your content from OneDrive, Facebook, Bing, YouTube, Twitter and many more.

Step 4: Add your presentation text

Step 5: Add your media (images, pdf’s, videos, audio)

Step 6: Customize your Microsoft Sway

  • Adjust the layout of your Sway (press the layout button)
  • Try the Remix button, it changes your Sway layouts, styles, and textures.
  • Also check out the Mood button (it changes the structure, style and color of your Sway)

Step 7: Share your Sway presentation! (Share your Sway with Facebook or Twitter, embed your sway, or copy and paste your Sway URL into your own specified destination.)

What are other people saying about Microsoft Sway?

I looked at many comments from readers of Lifehacker and Techcrunch. It looks like people are ambivalent about Sway.

Arinbasu a commenter on Lifehacker said:

“Very interesting app but it is still fundamentally a linear slideshow maker. Just makes it a little easier to find images, insert them, and less clutter than PowerPoint. It’s also easy to set up a nice storyboard, etc. At heart, it’s still PowerPoint-ish. Prezi, for instance, operates on a different level plane. Where you can do all of that but over and above, you can zoom around and tell a non-linear story. It’s the linearity of storytelling and how effortless you can make the non-linearity of your narrative that separates Prezi/impress.js type of presentations from the rest of the crowd. But this is a space to watch.”

Timothy Carroll a commenter from the Techcrunch blog post said:

“So if you need to give a presentation and your internet connection goes down, what do you tell your prospective client? The cloud has a place. Office apps are not that place.”

Most people did say they liked Sway, and they understood its niche in the presentation software field. Commenters also understand that Sway is a product that is still in development, so they will give it some time to get more feature rich.

I personally like Sway very much, I think it has a place in the software presentation field. I like how it is very intuitive, clean, connected to many different content sources and accessible from anywhere, anytime. Will Microsoft Sway take over for PowerPoint anytime soon? I don’t think so, but I do think I will continue to use Sway for my quick on-the-go presentation projects.


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