Man gives speech to audience

PowerPoint will now teach you to deliver the perfect speech

Microsoft PowerPoint will now offer live tips on public speaking to help everyone deliver the perfect presentation.

Presenter Coach will offer on-screen guidance about pacing, inclusive language, use of swear words, filler words and culturally insensitive phrases. It will even let presenters know when they are just reading off the slide instead of engaging with the audience.

At the end of each rehearsal session, a detailed report with metrics for additional practice is provided.

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Shawn Villaron, PowerPoint Partner Group Program Manager, said: “From classrooms to boardrooms, our belief is that everyone can improve how they present. Training and feedback help people gain confidence and empower them to achieve their personal and professional goals. Over the past few years, we’ve received feedback from educators, students and customers that people want an easy way to practice their presentations to improve their public speaking abilities.

“Today, we’re announcing the upcoming availability of Presenter Coach in PowerPoint. Presenting in front of a live audience is a vital life skill. Based on academic research and field studies, we’ve integrated presentation best practices into Presenter Coach to help people give more effective presentations.”

It’s one of a raft of new features Microsoft has introduced into PowerPoint, which uses an AI-powered feature called Designer to automatically provide layout suggestions when users add an image to a slide.

Designer will now work with a company’s branded templates, choosing the most suitable layouts for the content, intelligently cropping images and automatically recommending relevant icons and pictures. This ensures that companies can create presentations that meet their corporate branding and visual identity guidelines.

GIF showing PowerPoint Designer theme ideas

“In today’s fast-paced work environments, people are pressed for time, and AI-powered features like Designer help people create visually engaging and immersive presentations with only a few clicks,” Villaron added. “Now users can get this streamlined experience while working with their organisations’ templates, using branded layouts instead of needing to improvise.”

Starting a presentation from scratch is now even easier, too. Entering a few words onto a slide will trigger Designer into recommending a selection of fully licensed photographs that reflect that text, as well as theme styles and colours (above).

Finally, Designer will recognise when a user types a large number onto a slide and add context. For example, entering “Commercial planes fly at 30,000 feet” onto a slide will bring up images of planes and a word box containing the fact that 30,000 feet is “about the height of Mount Everest.

“Designer makes numerical slides more digestible and helps presenters effectively convey their information,” Villaron said.

The new features were announced as it was revealed that PowerPoint users have now created more than one billion slides using Designer since its launch in 2015.

Graph showing rise in use of PowerPoint Designer