If you are looking for a way to fine-tune your PowerPoint presentation and improve you’re speaking style during Teams meetings, say hello to “Speaker Coach.” Microsoft recently announced it was bringing an AI-powered presentation assistant dubbed “Speaker Coach” from PowerPoint to Teams. The feature, designed to support hybrid working arrangements, will be available in Teams in early 2022; however, PowerPoint users can use it today.
What Is Microsoft’s Speaker Coach?
Speaker Coach is a private personalized coach that leverages AI to empower users and bring out their confidence and best self into every virtual meeting. The tool offers Team users feedback on body language, pronunciation, and repetitive language use. It also provides crucial speech tips for rehearsing presentations, including pacing conversations, turn-taking skills, proper grammar, and more. Speakers who leverage this tool to fine-tune their presentation skills also learn how to avoid the monotone pitch, filler words, lack of originality, and use of inappropriate phrases. At the end of each rehearsal, Speaker Coach summarizes a report with crucial feedback to help users improve their presentation skills.
How Does Speaker Coach Work?
Once you turn Speaker Coach on in a virtual meeting, it will privately assist you by highlighting critical moments while providing crucial tips to enhance your presentation experience. The tool is designed to provide the following capabilities:
Pacing speech: If you speak too quickly, Speaker Coach will help you take a breath and slow down.
Proper turn-taking: If you speak concurrently with another speaker, the tool identifies the other speaker so you can acknowledge them and listen to what they are saying
Avoid unnecessary repetition: Speaker Coach also listens to your speech to determine whether you are overusing specific words or phrases. Where needful, it will point your mistakes and provide tips for improvement.
Pronunciation tips: Speaker Coach listens for your pronunciation and provides pronunciation suggestions through a recorded pronunciation guide
Analytics and reporting: It also helps you with crucial data post-meeting. Speaker Coach offers a detailed report of important moments it captured, so you can reflect on the last meeting and improve on your next one.
Microsoft has also added new critique features to the service to enhance better presentation on Teams and Zoom. Speaker Coach is designed to detect your body language and offer appropriate advice/tips. Notably, during presentations, Speaker Coach needs to see your eye clearly and ensure they are directed at the camera. For example, if you constantly keep looking away from the cameras, Speaker Coach will remind you to maintain eye contact for effective engagement with your audience. It will also advise whether you are too close or far away from a clear view.
Benefits of Speaker Coach
The following are some key benefits of Speaker Coach:
Helps improve presentation skills: Microsoft PowerPoint Speaker Coach helps enhance your presentation in Teams, Meet, or Zoom. The tool offers real-time feedback and reporting for viewing your presentation. Ideally, it can tell when you are speaking in monotone pitch, use filler words, or have poor grammar. It also smokes out unoriginal content and sensitive phrases that you should avoid during your presentations.
Boost confidence: Speaker coach capabilities help users feel more confident when presenting or participating in a meeting. Once you engage Speaker Coach in a meeting, it gives you different options to improve your speaking and listening skills.
Promotes inclusiveness: Whether you are running or just participating in Teams meeting, you can leverage Speaker Coach to make the meeting better and more inclusive. The tool comes with several features for leveling the virtual environment, so everyone at the table gets a fair chance to be heard.
How to Use Speaker Coach to Rehearse Your PowerPoint Presentations
Follow the steps outlined below to use PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach Feature:
Step 1: Ensure your presentation is available online through Microsoft OneDrive.
Step 2: Browse to PowerPoint on the web, and sign in. Afterward, open the specific presentation you want to rehearse. If you can’t locate it, click on the More In OneDrive link and the particular file on your OneDrive storage space. If your file is not online, you can upload it by dragging and dropping it on the list of files. Alternatively, you can to Upload and Open the tab to access your file.
Step 3: Once you have successfully opened your presentation, click the Slide Show tab and select the button dubbed Rehearse With Coach.
Step 4: PowerPoint prompt asking you for permission to use your computer’s microphone will appear. Click to Allow to proceed. At this point, you may need to click the Rehearse With Coach button once more.
Step 5: If successful, a small Welcome prompt will appear on the lower right side. Click the button to Start Rehearsing.
Step 6: Start your presentation narration. Once you have spoken about the content on one slide, click the left mouse to move to the next slide. During your entire narration, Speaker Coach continuously points out your mistakes while offering appropriate suggestions to improve. For example, it can tell you to avoid using filler words such as “umm” or “uh” or point out that you are reading directly from your slides.
Step 7: When you need to take a break or see how you are faring, hover the mouse over the microphone until it turns into a Pause button and click it. When it is time to resume, click the same button.
Step 8: To stop the coaching, press the Esc key. Immediately a Rehearsal Report containing all suggestions and statistics on your performance will pop up. You can head to the Summary section to check the duration of the presentation and the number of slides covered. Specifically:
The Originality sections caution reading directly from slides while displaying the specific slides you may need to rehearse again.
The Pace section provides suggestions on your time and Cadence.
The Sensitive Phrases section provides the words or phrases considered sensitive or inappropriate which you may have used in your speech.
The Filler section warns if you used too many filler works.
Step 9: If you want to continue rehearsing, click the button to Rehearse again. The presentation opens the slide where you left off.
Get Professional Help to Maximize Speaker Coach
In the current hybrid work and learning environment, having excellent presentation skills is crucial to achieving your daily goals with virtual meetings and presentations. The new Speaker Coach with Microsoft PowerPoint is a handy tool that helps you prepare in private to give more effective presentations. It also helps enhance and optimize your presentation skills during live virtual meetings, so you can achieve better engagements and collaboration with all participants.
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