In 2019, Microsoft introduced the Presenter Coach feature in PowerPoint to help users give better presentations, be these in person or virtually. Using artificial intelligence, this feature gives you pointers on how to improve your pitch, pacing, word choice, and much more. It was initially available only in PowerPoint for the web, but this year, Microsoft expanded its availability and the types of feedback it provides.
Availability on all platforms
Presenter Coach is now accessible on all platforms: web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. This means you can utilize this feature whenever you need it and wherever you are — at home, in the office, or even on the go.
Three new types of feedbacks
Aside from expanding the availability of Presenter Coach, Microsoft also added three new kinds of feedback:
1. Body language
Great presenters rehearse not only what they say, but also their gestures, stance, and facial expressions to ensure that these support their message. For example, they can use hand gestures to emphasize a point, instead of keeping their hands in their pockets or behind their back. They also utilize their eyes, mouth, and facial muscles to convey emotion. By projecting the right body language, they can establish their credibility and connect with the audience.
This is why Microsoft introduced a new capability that uses your video camera to provide feedback on your body language. After your rehearsal, the Presenter Coach will give you a summary report using the following metrics:
Clear view – Evaluates how well your audience will be able to see you
Eye contact – Tells you whether you are able to maintain your gaze toward the camera
Distance – Analyzes whether you are too close or too far away from the camera
2. Repetitive language
During presentations, repeating certain words and phrases can help you emphasize particular points and ensure that your audience recalls them. However, if this technique is done incorrectly, your listeners may find it distracting. On other occasions, you may not even realize that you are using the same words and phrases over and over again, but your audience will most likely catch on.
To help prevent you from overusing the same words and phrases, Presenter Coach will identify them after listening to your rehearsal. Not only that, but it will also give you a list of synonyms that you can use instead so you can switch it up and keep your audience more engaged throughout your presentation.
Presenter Coach can help ensure that you correctly pronounce all of the words that you will say during your presentation. It will display the words you mispronounced during rehearsal and offer a recorded pronunciation guide of that word. You can listen to the correct pronunciation as many times as you want while practicing your presentation.
Currently, Presenter Coach is optimized for the General American English pronunciation, but it can take into account variations in accent. In case you don’t agree with the suggestions provided or you don’t find them useful, you can disable the pronunciation feedback.
Note on privacy concerns
While Presenter Coach uses your camera and microphone to be able to evaluate your rehearsal, it will only do so when you click on Rehearse with Coach and then Start Rehearsing. It does not save any video or audio when you rehearse. It was purposely designed to respect your privacy while still being able to provide clear and actionable feedback that will help you improve your presentation skills.
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