How to use Presenter Coach to improve your PowerPoint presentations

The Presenter Coach can analyze and judge your spoken Microsoft PowerPoint presentations to help you enhance them.

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If you need help narrating your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and you use PowerPoint on the web, you can access a handy feature called Presenter Coach. The coach monitors and analyzes your speech and words as you give your presentation and moves from one slide to the next. After you're finished, the coach serves up a rehearsal report on how you fared. The report displays the total time and number of slides you covered, and it ranks you on your average pace and cautions if you're simply reading from each slide. You can also find out if you used any filler words or sensitive phrases.

Follow these step-by-step instructions on using PowerPoint's Presenter Coach feature.

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First, make sure your presentation is available online through Microsoft OneDrive. Browse to PowerPoint on the web, sign in, and open the presentation you want to rehearse. If you don't see it, click the link for More In OneDrive, and look for the file in your OneDrive storage space. If the file is not online, upload it by dragging and dropping it onto the list of files or clicking the link to Upload And Open (Figure A).

Figure A

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After opening your presentation, click the Slide Show tab, and select the button to Rehearse With Coach (Figure B).

Figure B

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When PowerPoint asks for permission to use your computer's microphone, click Allow. You may need to click the Rehearse With Coach button again. A small Welcome window appears in the lower-right. Click the button to Start Rehearsing (Figure C).

Figure C

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Start the narration of your presentation. After you've spoken about the content on one slide, click your left mouse button to move to the next slide. As you narrate your presentation, the Coach offers suggestions. It may tell you to avoid reading directly from the slides or not use filler words such as "umm" and "uhh" (Figure D).

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Figure D

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You can go through the entire presentation until you finish. If you need to take a break or want to see how you've been doing up to this point, hover your mouse over the microphone icon until it turns into a Pause button, and click it. To resume, click the same button. To stop, press the Esc key; our Rehearsal Report pops up with suggestions and stats on your performance (Figure E).

Figure E

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The Summary section tells how long the presentation took and how many slides you covered. The Originality section cautions you to avoid reading from the slides and displays any slides you may want to rehearse again. The Pace section comments on your time and cadence.

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The section for Sensitive Phrases tells if you used any words or phrases that might be considered sensitive or inappropriate. The Fillers section warns if you used too many filler words. Click the Learn More link in each section for more information. If you want to resume, click the button to Rehearse Again, and the presentation opens on the slide where you left off so you can continue your performance.

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