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Can PowerPoint save public speaking? New feature uses AI to tell presenters what they’re doing wrong

Microsoft PowerPoint is usually criticized for ruining public talking, given the temptation for presenters to merely learn the slides they’ve ready utilizing the software program — the phenomenon often called “Loss of life by PowerPoint.”

However what if PowerPoint might make higher public audio system as an alternative?

A brand new PowerPoint feature, unveiled this morning, goals to do this. Known as Presenter Coach, it offers computerized suggestions to presenters after they observe their talks utilizing PowerPoint rehearsal mode, telling them if they’re speaking too rapidly, studying an excessive amount of from the slides, utilizing filler phrases, profanity, or culturally insensitive phrases. After the rehearsal session, the feature produces a report with metrics that can be utilized extra observe.

“Presenting in entrance of a stay viewers is an important life ability but in addition one thing that may spark worry and nervousness,” stated Derek Johnson, a principal program supervisor on the PowerPoint group, demonstrating the brand new feature this week. “If I begin to stutter, Coach goes to pop up and tell me to be careful for filler phrases as a result of it may be distracting.”

Within the demo, Johnson learn an announcement from a slide within the presentation, “When the satellite tv for pc approached Jupiter, it found the rings round Jupiter in addition to volcanic exercise on the moon.” Presentation Coach detected the similarity and popped up on the display screen, telling him to be extra authentic.

Johnson defined, “We all know that is one thing that contributes to a ‘Loss of life by PowerPoint’ model of a presentation, and we wish to assist individuals keep away from doing that.”

Can PowerPoint save public speaking? New feature uses AI to tell presenters what they’re doing wrong

Presenter Coach works through PowerPoint for the online, so what about privateness?

Microsoft caches knowledge from the Presenter Coach feature however purges the cache after 5 minutes if the information hasn’t been accessed once more by the shopper within the meantime, and purges all associated knowledge after 24 hours no matter whether or not it has been accessed. These Microsoft articles present extra data on how the company handles data and where Office 365 data is located.

It’s a part of a broader try to hold the 32-year-old program from going stale within the face of competitors from apps and companies born within the period of the online, cellular apps and synthetic intelligence. Free and paid rivals to PowerPoint embrace Prezi, Google Slides, Apple Keynote, and HaikuDeck, developed by a Seattle startup of the identical identify and acquired last year by BookRags, a Seattle firm that gives on-line instructing and studying guides.

Different firms, equivalent to Seattle-based augmented writing platform Textio, based by two Microsoft veterans, additionally use machine studying to analyze written textual content in job posts, for instance.

The Presenter Coach feature, to be accessible later this summer time on PowerPoint for the online, is the newest effort by Microsoft to use synthetic intelligence and machine studying to improve the capabilities of the presentation software program. This began a couple of years in the past with PowerPoint Designer, a feature that means visually interesting layouts for the pictures a person locations on the display screen. It may well additionally assist flip text-heavy slides into diagrams and timelines. Microsoft says Designer has been used to create greater than 1 billion slides since its 2016 launch.

As a part of the announcement as we speak, the corporate stated it’ll present the power to use PowerPoint Designer with branded templates, together with a feature that means footage based mostly on the textual content in a presentation, plus an identical theme and shade scheme. The corporate can be unveiling one other feature that helps customers clarify knowledge — suggesting, for instance, that the presenter might put the 652,232 square-kilometer dimension of Afghanistan in context by saying it’s “about equal to the dimensions of Texas.”

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