The Microsoft Sway application is included in most Office 365 plans, but many organization have struggled to find a purpose for it.  Microsoft Sway is a presentation application that allows you to create newsletters, business presentations, and reports. You can even use it for more personal projects, such as describing your vacation to your fellow colleagues. Sway gives you the ability to fully customize your presentation in a creative and fun way. Recently, I have begun to use this product for communicating project updates and statuses.

One advantage to using this product for communication is that it eliminates the need to email. Sending a status update via email can lead to a long string of multiple emails and, eventually, frustration over lost or deleted emails. Microsoft has made it simple to get started with Sway. Within a matter of minutes after logging in, I was able to create a status update template using a Sway form. An example of the template is available here. The result is a clean presentation without slides, pages or other physical boundaries. Sway presentations can be exported and printed or presented online. When working with a touch screen device, the user can swipe at their own pace through the presentation.

An example of a sales presentation built using Sway can be viewed here. The presentation is in a web page format that users can view using any modern browser and on any device.

Sway Features

One of my favorite Sway features is the menu option to “Duplicate this Sway.” How many times have you opened up an existing presentation or document and forgot to “Save As” a new filename before making changes? Most of us have made that mistake. With the duplicate Sway feature, the current Sway that you are working on is duplicated so you can make the changes necessary.  I’ve already touched on another favorite feature, the fact that the presentation is a web page, so you do not need to worry about file formats.

Training for Sway

To increase the adoption of this product and other mini-applications within the O365 productivity toolset, I encourage you to seek out training for your company’s users. User training will help clarify which product is most appropriate for different projects and situations.

Why Use Sway?

Sway is a newer program that many Microsoft Office 365 subscribers do not know they have at their fingertips. Using Sway for status updates can help reduce the “another email or email attachment” syndrome that we all face. The ability to view and share Sway documents from any device makes this a very useful tool.