Microsoft PowerPoint now has a Presenter Coach to let you rehearse your presentations before going to the audience. This coach gives you a detailed report telling you how well you did and suggesting areas for improvement. Here’s how to use it.
How the Presenter Coach Helps You with Your Presentations
Consider the Presenter Coach in PowerPoint as a trusted friend who listens to you practice performing your presentations. This coach reviews your entire presentation and creates a report detailing your performance.
For example, it will grade you on how fast you speak and how much you use filler words like “um” and “ah.” It will also inform you of words you might want to avoid and encourage you not to simply read the words on your slides aloud.
Basically, if you need a second opinion on your presenting style, this is a great way to get it.
What You’ll Need
To use the Presenter Coach in PowerPoint, you must have:
- a Microsoft account or a Microsoft 365 work or school account
- a working internet connection
- a microphone (so that PowerPoint can listen to what you’re saying)
Also, the Presenter Coach only works if you use the English language in PowerPoint. Other languages are not yet supported as of April 2021.
How to Launch the Presenter Coach in PowerPoint
PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach works for any presentation. You can use it with your commercial, educational, and even family presentations.
To start using this feature, open your presentation with PowerPoint.
In the PowerPoint window, click the “Slide Show” tab on the ribbon at the top of the window.
Note: If you don’t see the Slide Show tab, you’re probably in Slide Master View. Close this view by selecting “Slide Master” at the top and then clicking “Close Master View.”
In the Slide Show tab, click “Rehearse with Coach” to open PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach.
Your presentation will open in fullscreen mode. To activate the Presenter Coach, click “Start Rehearsing” in the bottom-right corner of your window. Optionally, enable “Show real-time feedback” if you want the coach to give you tips while you’re still presenting.
Now, begin your presentation like you normally would. If you enabled the real-time feedback option, you’ll see some tips appear in the bottom-right corner of your window.
Press “Esc” when you’re done presenting to exit fullscreen mode. PowerPoint will now open your rehearsal report.
Reading Your Rehearsal Report
It’s important to read and analyze the Presenter Coach’s report properly. This will help you find areas for improvement and see whether you’re doing well.
Note: The report will vanish as soon as you close the report window. To save the report, take a screenshot of it.
Here’s what each section in the report tells you about your presentation:
- Summary: Summary tells you the amount of time you spent practicing your presentation. It also shows the number of slides you rehearsed.
- Fillers: In the Fillers section, you’ll see the filler words (umm, ah) that you used during your presentation. Using these filler words makes you sound less confident, and you should try to avoid using them.
- Sensitive Phrases: Sensitive Phrases highlights culturally sensitive phrases that you used in your presentation, which you might want to avoid. It considers the following areas sensitive: disability, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, mental health, geopolitical topics, and profanity.
- Pace: The Pace section tells you the pace of your presentation. If you were too fast or too slow, you’ll find that information here.
- Originality: Microsoft suggests that you avoid reading out the text written in your presentation slides, as this makes your presentation boring. Instead, you should use original content in your speech. The Originality section informs you if you only read the text from your slides.
Now that you know where you need to improve, click the “Rehearse Again” button at the top of the report to re-present your presentation. When you’re done, PowerPoint will make another report detailing your new presentation performance.