Improve Your Presentation Skills With Microsoft PowerPoint’s Speaker Coach
No matter what industry or department you work in, presentation is typically part of the job, whether you need to present for two minutes on your latest marketing and sales campaign results or thirty minutes on your team’s goals and results for the quarter. And unless you were born with a natural knack for public speaking, the only way to sharpen your presentation skills is through practice. Proper practice is the key to boosting your confidence and giving you the edge you need to deliver a dynamic presentation.
Well, now you can practice your presentations to perfection with Microsoft PowerPoint’s Speaker Coach. This tool provides you with feedback on the pace of your presentation, the use of filler words, monotone pitch, and sensitive phrases, the quality of grammar, and even the lack of originality. This helps you feel more confident when presenting and also promotes inclusiveness, where all voices are heard in every meeting.
What’s PowerPoint Speaker Coach?
Microsoft’s PowerPoint Speaker Coach is a tool that helps you improve your presentations. It uses AI to help people improve their presentations with feedback and coaching. The tool gives you real-time feedback and also provides detailed reports for reviewing your presentation skills.
Speaker Coach is accessible on all platforms, including Windows, web, 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. Think of it as your very own virtual coach, ready to help you improve your presentation skills – anywhere, anytime.
Speaker Coach is always under your control and does not save any video or audio data from your rehearsal, so you can trust Speaker Coach to improve your presentation skills while respecting your privacy.
Speaker Coach Features
Speaker Coach is designed to provide actionable and clear feedback to help you become an even better presenter and focus on the areas that matter most to you. This tool has three unique feedback features to help you become a more confident speaker, including:
1. Body Language
What you do with your body during a presentation—whether virtual or in-person— is just as important as what you say. When you are in front of an audience, all eyes are on you, and that means audiences will notice everything you do, from the way you hold your arms to the way you sway back and forth. The movements of your eyes, mouth, facial muscles, and arms can build a connection with your audience. Conversely, they can make you appear insecure and unprofessional. When it comes to communicating sincerity and credibility, nothing is more important than eye contact and body language. By practicing proper body language, you will appear more relaxed and in control when it comes time to deliver your presentation.
This is why Microsoft introduced a new capability to PowerPoint Speaker Coach that uses your video camera to provide feedback on your body language. After your rehearsal, the Speaker 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 can maintain your gaze toward the camera
- Distance– Analyzes whether you are too close or too far away from the camera
2. Repetitive Language
Repetition can be an effective way to ensure your key ideas are heard and remembered by your audience. However, if this technique is done incorrectly, your listeners may find it distracting. In some cases, you may not even realize that you are using the same words and phrases repeatedly, but your audience will most likely catch on.
Seemingly harmless repetitive words or phrases can overshadow and detract from even the most brilliant of presentations, damage your credibility and quickly turn an engaged audience into a disengaged one. PowerPoint Speaker Coach can help you identify these words and phrases to avoid overusing them. 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.
The way you pronounce words in your presentation matters a lot – wrong pronunciation will impact your perceived capability on what you are presenting about. Speaker Coach can ensure that you correctly pronounce all of the words you will say during your presentation. It will display the words you mispronounced during rehearsal and offer a recorded pronunciation guide that helps you practice pronouncing the words correctly. You can listen to the correct pronunciation of the word as many times as you’d like while practicing your presentation. The Speaker Coach is optimized for General American English, but it can take into account variations in accent. You can disable this feedback if you don’t agree with the suggestions or find them useful.
Speaker Coach in Microsoft Teams
Microsoft is also bringing Speaker Coach to Teams in early 2022 to support hybrid and remote meetings. According to Microsoft, it’s your private, personalized coach helping you bring your confident and best self into every meeting. Unlike PowerPoint’s Speaker Coach, Speaker Coach in Teams is designed for anyone in the meeting – not just the presenter – as many people hold a speaking role in meetings. Even if you are simply saying a couple of sentences, Speaker Coach can be there for you privately by highlighting moments and giving you different options to empower you and help give you greater confidence.
The Microsoft Teams Speaker Coach will help you take a breath and slow down if you start speaking too fast. If you accidentally speak at the same time as someone else, Speaker Coach will help you identify who else is talking so you can recognize them and hear what they want to say. It will also help you understand a comprehensive view of your data post-meeting with a private report of the moments the Speaker Coach captured to reflect and internalize for the next meeting.
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