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How to use PowerPoint Cameo

Learn how to integrate live camera feeds directly into your PowerPoint slides with the Cameo feature. This is available both in Windows and Mac versions of PowerPoint.

In this step-by-step tutorial, discover how to control and modify live camera feeds like move, resize, crop, and apply transitions or styles to the camera feed. Additionally, see how to use PowerPoint Designer to transform the look of your slides.

PowerPoint Cameo empowers you to embed live camera feeds into your slides with minimal effort. In a virtual or recorded setting, it allows you to connect with your audience in new ways. It’s a great tool to practice and test out your presentation for an upcoming live streaming event regardless of the streaming platform like Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

Introduction

Called Cameo, this new feature rolled out to all Microsoft 365 users in the middle of 2022. To use Cameo, click the Insert tab and click the Cameo button on the far right. A video placeholder will appear in the bottom right corner of the slide. In the Ribbon, a new Camera tab will appear. The default view is with Preview turned off. You can click the small video icon to turn on Preview or use the Preview button in the Camera tab. If you have more than one camera the Preview button will have a drop-down arrow and you can select the camera you want to use.

Modifying the video placeholder

The unique thing about this feature is that the video placeholder is an object just like a shape, text box, or image. This allows you to make modifications that aren’t always possible in live streaming services like Zoom. First off you can move the placeholder to a different spot on the slide. Looking at the Camera tab, you can see that there are several options to change the shape from a standard rectangle. If these options aren’t exactly what you want, you can use the Change Shape drop down and select any of the shapes on that menu. [choose the cloud shape or tear drop] Other options include adding a border And the Effects menu provides different settings for shadow, reflection, and glow. With the placeholder selected you can resize it and your video image resize along with it. You can also crop the placeholder. This is great if you want to cut unwanted background. If you like using the Designer option it can be used with the video placeholder added. Clicking the Designer button will provide [design ideas in Windows] several different options for you to choose that are specific to Cameo and the video placeholder.

Applying video placeholder settings to other slides

The big thing to remember is that the video placeholder is unique to the individual slide. Any modifications you make will not be carried over to the next slide. Fortunately, you have a couple of options. If you haven’t designed your overall slide deck, you can duplicate the slide from the Thumbnail Pane. The advantage here is that the placeholder will be in the exact same spot as all the other slides. If you are adding the video placeholder as one of your last steps, you can copy the placeholder and paste it onto the different slides. All of the settings, like shape, shadow, etc. are preserved. You can use the Gridlines option to make your placement more consistent if that is important. You can turn these one from the View tab. You can also create a template designed to include the video placeholder.

Presenting with Cameo

When you are ready to present you have a few options. Within the Microsoft ecosystem, you can use this option to present via Teams. You can also use this with video streaming services like Zoom. Just remember to mute your video on the streaming platform.

Conclusion

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this new feature. In the Comments section, let me know if you’ve used it and what do you like and/or dislike about it.

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About the author 

Jennifer

Jennifer has 15+ years of public speaking experience - ranging from groups of 5 to 5000. She draws from her experience as an instructor, academic, and librarian to help others with their presentation skills. When not presenting she loves creating and designing online courses, video, images, slide decks, handouts, conference posters, and infographics.

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