Copilot Use Tips for Microsoft 365

This article is a Copilot for Microsoft 365 document originally published by Microsoft re-written here for my personal reference.

 

The Art & Science of Prompting

Prompts are how you ask Copilot for Microsoft 365 to do something for you like creating, summarizing, editing, or transforming.

Think about prompting like having a conversation, using plain but clear language and providing context like you would with an assistant.

 

1. Tell Copilot what you need.

There are many types of prompts you can use depending on what task you want done.

  • Learn about projects and concepts. For example, “What is [Project X] and who are the key stakeholders working on it?”
  • Summarize information. For example, “Write a session abstract of this [presentation].”
  • Edit text. For example, “Check this product launch rationale for inconsistencies.”
  • Create engaging content. For example, “Create a value proposition for [Product X].”
  • Transform documents. For example, “Transform this FAQ document into a 10-slide onboarding guide.”
  • Catch-up on missed items. For example, “Provide a summary of the updates and action items on [Project X].”

 

2. Include the right prompt ingredients.

To get the best response, it’s important to focus on some of the key elements below when phrasing your Copilot prompts.

  • GOAL
    • WHAT response do you want from Copilot?
  • CONTEXT
    • WHY do you need it and who is involved?
  • SOURCE
    • WHICH information sources or samples should Copilot use?
  • EXPECTATIONS
    • HOW should Copilot respond to best meet your expectations?

 

Example prompt:

Generate 3-5 bullet points to prepare me for a meeting with Client X to discuss their “Phase 3+” brand campaign. Focus on Email and Teams chats since June. Please use simple language so I can get up to speed quickly.

  • Goal, what? Generate 3-5 bullet points
  • Context, why? to prepare me for a meeting with Client X to discuss their “Phase 3+” brand campaign.
  • Source, which? Focus on Email and Teams chats since June.
  • Expectations, how? Please use simple language so I can get up to speed quickly.

 

3. Keep the conversation going.

Following up on your prompts help you collaborate with Copilot to gain more useful, tailored responses.

  • Generating content ideas. Lead with broader requests, then give specific details about the content.
  • Enabling insightful meetings. Request a meeting recap, then ask for more information about what you should know.
  • Storytelling assistance. Ask Copilot to write a story, then guide it by giving
  • Gaining insights. Ask for a summary of a specific file, then ask relevant questions to gain deeper insights.
  • Translating languages. Ask Copilot to translate a sentence to one of the supported languages, then ask for more context or a regional dialect.
  • Solving technical problems. Present a technical problem, then narrow it down, or ask for step-by-step guidance.

 

Helpful tips to keep in mind.

  • Know Copilot’s limitations. Copilot is limited to your current conversation, so give lots of details.
  • Be professional. Using polite language improves Copilot’s response.
  • Communicate clearly. Pay attention to punctuation, grammar, and capitalization.
  • Use quotation marks. This helps Copilot know what to write, modify, or replace for you.
  • Start fresh. Avoid interrupting and type “new topic” when switching tasks

 

Conclusion

I hope my article on use tips for Microsoft Copilot has been helpful to you. I welcome your thoughts, questions or suggestions regarding this article.

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