How to Use PowerPoint Speaker Coach to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Want to improve your body language and speaking when presenting online? You can use PowerPoint Speaker Coach to get instant feedback and build confidence.

Microsoft PowerPoint includes a powerful tool called Speaker Coach. It is a renamed and improved version of Presentation Coach, originally added to PowerPoint in 2019.

With remote and hybrid work environments now familiar, successfully presenting to diverse online audiences using only slides, webcam, and mic is a more valuable skill than ever. In this article, you will learn about Speaker Coach and how it can help you.


What is PowerPoint Speaker Coach?

You will find Speaker Coach under Slideshow in PowerPoint on Windows, macOS, and on the web as part of your Microsoft 365 subscription. Speaker Coach can offer real-time feedback on your body language (web version only) and speech as you rehearse a presentation while speaking in your microphone and your camera.

When finished, a Repetition report shows your overall strengths and weaknesses. You can use the information to improve your presentation skills.


a screenshot showing that microsoft powerpoint speaker coach is under the slideshow tab

The tool offers many advantages over traditional methods of rehearsing a presentation. This helps you practice independently instead of depending on your colleagues for feedback.

Speaker Coach also uses AI to point out errors that alienate an audience. These nuances may be missed by people who work closely with you. The tool can also be useful outside of professional situations. For example, are you planning to give a speech at a wedding, award show, awards ceremony, or memorial? Speaker Coach can also help you rehearse for these events, whether online or in person.

USE VIDEO OF THE DAY

Microsoft takes a privacy-first approach with Speaker Coach and does not record the videos or audio of your rehearsals.


A screenshot of the Microsoft Speaker Coach web interface settings

Key Features of PowerPoint Speaker Coach

Powerpoint Speaker Coach can make you a more dynamic presenter.

Improved body language

Body language is still a meaningful way to connect with an audience, even if only the top half of you is visible. The web version of Speaker Coach can assess your body language using your webcam and offer guidance during your presentation.

For example, Speaker Coach displays a warning if you are too far from the camera or too close. Additionally, notifications appear if you obstruct your face with your hand or fail to make eye contact with the audience.

Improved speaking

Speaker Coach includes many other features to improve your verbal presentation skills.

  • Rhythm makes sure you don’t speak too fast for the audience to understand your message.
  • Ground helps you adjust your volume: a monotonous presentation will just put people to sleep – not what you want!
  • Originality identifies slides that you have read too much. It looks abnormal and can make a good presentation go awry.
  • Filler words such as “uh” and “you know” are identified because they may undermine public confidence in your information.

Other features include searching for repetitive language and encourage variation in word choice with synonyms for overused words. Inclusiveness warns if you alienate audience members by using culturally insensitive language or profanity.

The web version of Speaker Coach can even tell if you mispronounced a word. It will display the correct way to pronounce the word and give you the opportunity to practice pronouncing it. Microsoft said Speaker Coach is optimized for General American English and improves the pronunciation feature based on user feedback, a tacit recognition that accents vary.

Related: Tools to Give an Online Presentation From Anywhere

PowerPoint Speaker Coach makes suggestions for improvement

The flagship feature of Speaker Coach is not only that it assesses your presentation skills. It also gives specific suggestions on how you can improve.

Comments from the speaker coach include a Learn more link. This Microsoft support page offers information on the criteria Speaker Coach uses to evaluate your presentation and recommendations for making a poor presentation stellar.

While some of these may be obvious (like, don’t swear), Speaker Coach also points out more subtle mistakes that can shape how your message is received. The support page explains that academic research suggests audiences understand better presenters who speak at a rate of around 100 to 165 words per minute. Speaker Coach rates your performance against this metric. However, it also leaves room to adapt to your speaking style over time.


A screenshot shows a Microsoft Speaker Coach summary report

Related: Every Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows Keyboard Shortcut Worth Knowing

To note: Microsoft said Speaker Coach will be added to Teams in early 2022 to help you communicate better in meetings.

How to Use PowerPoint Speaker Coach for Body Language Feedback

Nonverbal communication is an art that can make or break your presentation. Use PowerPoint Speaker Coach feedback to perfect nuances.

  1. Open PowerPoint on the web and navigate to Slideshow > Rehearse with Coach > Enable body language feedback display.
  2. A window will open at the bottom right. Click on start repeating. Leave show real-time feedback enabled.
  3. Rehearse your presentation.


A screenshot showing how to start body language feedback on Microsoft PowerPoint Speaker Coach.

How to use PowerPoint Speaker Coach on Windows and macOS

Speaker Coach works the same on Windows and macOS, but note that body language and pronunciation feedback is not available:

  1. Open a PowerPoint presentation and navigate to Slideshow > Rehearse with Coach.
  2. A window will open at the bottom right of your screen. Click on start repeating.
  3. Rehearse your presentation


A screenshot showing the Microsoft PowerPoint Speaker Coach splash screen

Feel empowered by PowerPoint Speaker Coach

Use Microsoft Speaker Coach for a unique way to improve your communication and presentation skills online and in person. Its AI-based approach allows you to practice when and where you want, without having to impose on your colleagues. In an increasingly remote and hybrid world, its range of features can make you a more dynamic presenter.

You might find Speaker Coach so useful that you’ll start to find using PowerPoint to give presentations and designing the accompanying slides fun again.


Photograph of a man presenting a slide show during a meeting
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