If you have a presentation coming up, more than likely, you’ll want to practice your delivery ahead of time. Microsoft PowerPoint has a new tool that can help.
It can provide a report detailing your entire performance, including feedback on your pace, pronunciation, repetitive words, and eye contact with your audience.
The Presenter Coach is a tool available within PowerPoint, available on several platforms, including Windows, the web, IOS, and Android. With Microsoft 365, you can use this function to review several aspects of your presentation on Teams or Zoom.
To begin with, it looks at your body language and lets you know if you’re at the proper distance from the camera to show your face clearly, and if you need to improve the amount of eye contact for maximum engagement with your audience.
As you practice, the tool can help you improve your language, including overusing specific words or catchphrases. It will let you know if you are repeating yourself. For example, it will grade how quickly you speak and the number of filler words such as um, like, and ah. It will also inform you about words you may want to avoid and remind you to stop reading the comments on your slides aloud.
Let’s face it; nobody wants to be caught off guard mispronouncing words. When rehearsing, it can listen to the words you speak and offer pronunciation suggestions from a recorded pronunciation guide using “General American English.” Of course, this may vary according to location.
Tools You Will Need To Begin Practicing
- Microsoft account or Microsoft 365 for work or school
- Internet connection
Launching PowerPoint Presenter Coach
It applies to any PowerPoint presentation, whether it’s for business, personal, or educational use.
To begin using Rehearse with Coach, choose your presentation from PowerPoint.
Click the Slide Show tab within the PowerPoint window.
Click on Rehearse with Coach in the Slide Show tab to open the tool.
Check the Show Real-Time Feedback box to receive ongoing guidance
Speak when you see the Listening prompt
If you’ve enabled Real-Time guidance, the live feedback will remind you not to use filler words.
You’ll receive a Rehearsal Report with feedback when you have finished. Don’t forget to take a screenshot. To ensure your privacy, Microsoft will delete the input when you’re finished, but it will not save a recording of your performance.
Tips for Improving Audience Engagement
Improving Your Pace
Pacing yourself during a presentation is essential. Speaking too quickly or too slowly could hamper audience comprehension and recall. A graph showing the approximate variance of your speaking rate is included in your summary report. The Presenter Coach shows your presentation pace during your rehearsal based on the last few seconds while speaking.
Omitting Filler Words
You want to sound confident and knowledgeable when presenting to an audience. Speakers persuading an audience of their message often avoid filler words and speak directly and consistently on the subject. The tool can help catch the filler words and show how many you use. Often we are not aware of how many times we use filler words. Examples of filler words are; so, umm, ah, right, now.
If there are unusual or difficult words, be sure to practice them. The Presenter Coach will let you know if words sound like they are not pronounced correctly. That will help you to be more confident while you are presenting.
In addition to the above, the Presenter Coach will offer suggestions about wordiness, euphemisms, subject/verb agreement, and repetitive words.
The next time you have to give a presentation in Teams or Zoom, be sure to activate the PowerPoint Presenter Coach so you can practice ahead of time. Your audience will thank you for it!
Monotone speech can be difficult to listen to over longer periods. The Speaker Coach will encourage you to vary the pitch of your voice to keep your audience engaged.
Speaker Coach encourages inclusivity by listening for culturally sensitive phrases, for example, in areas including disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, race, mental health, sensitive geopolitical topics, and profanity. Research has shown that using inclusive language helps your audience to feel included.
Repetitive words differ from filler words as they are part of the sentence, instead of words you say in between sentences. The Speaker Coach will catch these words, highlight them in the report, and suggest alternative suggestions. Examples of repetitive words are; technically, basically, nevertheless, obviously, really.
Thank you for reading this blog. I’d love to hear your feedback on these ideas. If you’d like to know how I can help you create slides like these for your next PowerPoint presentation, check out my Services page!
To see more tips and tricks on slide design and presenting with PowerPoint, connect with me on LinkedIn.