Microsoft’s Presenter Coach, which helps you practice presentations, has been available on the web version of PowerPoint for a while now, but it’s finally coming to the desktop and mobile versions of the app. According to Microsoft, the feature will now be available on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and, of course, the web.
PowerPoint Presenter Coach listens to you while you practice a presentation out loud — it analyzes what you’re saying, and can warn you if you’re talking too fast or slow, using filler words like “um” or “ahh,” or just reading the words off the slide (a personal pet peeve of mine). Trying it out on both PowerPoint for Windows and iOS, it worked shockingly well, doing pretty much everything Microsoft says it should. At the end it gives you a little report, telling you what you need to practice.
Along with the expanded availability, there are also some new ways that the feature can try to make your presentation better: it can look at body language (how close you are to the camera, if you’re making eye contact or putting things in front of your face), and warn you if you’re repeating words or saying them wrong. And yes, it still tells you not to swear in your presentation.
When I tried it, the feature didn’t show up in the Mac version of the app, but I was able to use it on iOS. Microsoft was not immediately available for comment about when the feature would show up on the Mac, or on whether the vocal and video analysis was done on-device or in the cloud for the desktop and mobile versions.
For the privacy-conscious, though, it is worth noting that when I tried it in airplane mode, it told me I had to connect to the internet to use the coaching feature.