Microsoft’s PowerPoint Presenter Coach AI Can Spot Repetitive Language and Corrects Pronounciation
Microsoft has released an AI tool to improve how people run PowerPoint presentations to all platforms that run PowerPoint. The PowerPoint Presenter Coach watches and listens to you rehearse and shares specific tips and advice, including the new critique categories of pronunciation, word repetition, and body language.
PowerPoint Presenter Coach’s universal rollout comes after a beta test on the web version of the platform. The tool is activated on PowerPoint when you want to run a rehearsal and uses your computer or smartphone’s microphone and camera to observe the presentation. The coach then analyzes the AI for a whole range of factors that affect how the presentation is received, putting them into a summary report with examples of issues and ideas on how to make it more effective.
“Presenter Coach leverages AI to help anyone—professionals, students, and even those who just want to practice a speech for a wedding or graduation. Especially in this hybrid work and learning environment, presentation skills are more important than ever, with more meetings and presentations than ever before,” Microsoft explained in a blog post about the features. “Presenter Coach provides users with feedback on their pace, use of monotone pitch, use of filler words, poor grammar, lack of originality, use of sensitive phrases, and more while they rehearse their presentations.”
Cortana-Free AI Assistance
The newest categories extend the list of critiques is limited to the web version for now but include some of the more subtle yet crucial elements of a presentation. The body language critique uses the device’s camera to measure if your face is in view, if you are a good distance from the camera, and if you look to the audience or camera in a virtual presentation. The language analysis has been augmented with a couple of new aspects. The Coach remembers the entirety of the presentation and looks for words and phrases that are used a lot. Sometimes, that’s on purpose, but if the presenter is unaware that they keep going back to the same few adjectives or verbs, the Coach will point them out and offer synonyms to try out instead. The natural language engine in PowerPoint’s AI also listens for how the words are pronounced, noting where the presenter may have mispronounced words and showing what it heard and the correct pronunciation of the word it thinks the presenter meant to say. Right now, the AI is set for General American English, but Microsoft is hoping to include more options after the beta test.
The Coach doesn’t communicate vocally, despite using audio analytics, but the interactive nature of the Coach suggests a voice assistant could use it. That would fit with Microsoft’s migration of the Cortana voice assistant to enterprise services. Cortana can already control PowerPoint presentations through the Surface Earbuds. The $249 hearables earbuds can support several different voice assistants but are designed to work best with Cortana, integrating the voice assistant Microsoft Office 365 and allowing wearers to run PowerPoint presentations with real-time commentary, tapping the earbuds to advance the slides. The earbuds also use Cortana to read and respond to emails on Outlook and dictate Word documents.
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