The Pitch Perfect

Presenter Coach – practice makes perfect

The versatility of different types of coaches are endless. We have life, financial, personal, performance, organizational, relationship, legacy, team coaches. Now it was time to have a Presenter Coach. Microsoft just launched it.

What is it about?

Everyone tackles presentations differently. From riffing off a few bullet points, to practicing for hours in front of a mirror, the art of presenting is unique to each individual.

I do presentations for 20 years, mainly on technical or sales topics, and never really had desire that Powerpoint telling me off.  Still, training and feedback are vital to help beginners or less confident people to gain confidence and improve their public speaking abilities, and Presenter Coach in PowerPoint has arrived to help you do just that.

OK, maybe I have to sit down for a while…Microsoft is stepping on another level of offering tools to create the best presentations, but giving you guidance HOW to do it? I could not find any useful videos to check, though I’m eager to see how AI is helping you to be a better presenter.

As I see from the short intro video from MS, the new version of Powerpoint will give you “intelligent tips” to improve your presentation skills. (that’s pretty easy: well done, you only need some more practice, my child. And don’t forget to make pauses. And articulate, for heaven’s sake).

Powerpoint already had a “reherse” section, where you can test your presentation and measure time and get your statistics by slides, and ultimately you’ll see if you can sum up the history of civilization in 20 minutes only, which is the given slot for speakers of your event. The new tool is also giving you “real-time feedback on you pacing”, meaning AI will define what is the convenient pace of your presentation, so you’ll get a message on the screen if you are speaking too fast or too slow. Maybe MS analysed 10 years of TED presentations and averaged the speed of the presenters? What is the IDEAL pace of a presentation? Do I make mistake if I keep more silences to attract attention of the audience which is about to linger away?

If my topic needs to list digits, ranking or shortlist something, so I have to keep the same space?

How is the dynamics of the presentation is judged by AI?  How is is defined?

Using inclusive language – taking care of sensitivity for the audience to use the right language is another sensitive topic. How can AI detect my audience and define what’s culturally “inappropriate” for them?

And there comes my favourite, the intelligence to warn you when using filler words of “umm” or “ahh”. Actually, this is great for practice, but might be annoying when you are actually presenting. 🙂

AI also warns you when you are just simply reading you slides. As its boring. Maybe somebody already told you this: nothing can be as boring as reading the text from your own slides, you probably are bored of, but your audience is just getting bored of it.

The main problem is that the system will give you on-screen recommendations.

Honestly, who can focus on his presentation and also read and act according to random instructions on the screen at the same time? I’d definitely would have problem with it.

As a summary of your practice you’ll get an “error list” you can correct.  If I’ll have the chance to test Presenter Coach, I’ll definitely would make use of this. If “you guys” will be correct to “ you people”, I’m already confident that we made a quantum leap on perfection of the pitch.

What about the human side of this improvement? Do we trust an AI, telling us how we should deliver a presentation human-to-human? What are the aspects which cannot be covered by a presentation AI-Coach?

First things is grabbing the audience’s attention. What is my opening line? Do I get any interest? Do I make a pause to have a little silence to focus attention?

Then comes the interactivity. Any impactful presentation is engaging the audience. You raise a question, make a quick survey, etc. Can AI predict where the discussion is going and how to react? What if somebody raises a question? Can AI predict that, too?

The presenter’s personality. You can have 100 different presentation from 100 different people. Which one resonates best with the audience? What is the emotional dynamics of your speech? What is your goal with the presentation? Transfer knowledge, or just raise interest or call for action?

Will ever AI’s take over the job from coaches and presentation skill development experts to help CIOs with limited presentational skills?

God knows only.

PS. Bonus pack for fans:

Just after I finished the post, I wanted to check my LinkedIn profile and looks what I found… Mmmm, yummie, thanks bigbro’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe for more!

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Office Space will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.