New PowerPoint feature wants to make you the next Steve Jobs

Microsoft has unveiled Presenter Coach, a new feature in PowerPoint that helps users improve their presentation skills. The company points out that public speaking is already nerve-racking for many individuals, and that can make it harder for them to offer a great presentation without the right skills. Using the new feature, users are coached on pace, the words they use, and more.

The new Presenter Coach feature taps artificial intelligence to listen to users give their presentation, offer guidance on how they can improve it, detail the data in a presentation report card, and offer suggestions on improving future presentations. The recommendations are based on both field studies and academic research, according to Microsoft.

The advice mirrors what you might get from an in-person public speaking coach, such as tips to avoid using filler words that add nothing to the presentation — the 'ums' and 'ahs' of everyday natural language, for example. As well, users might get tips on avoiding certain phrases that may not be inclusive enough for the speaker's audience.

PowerPoint's Presenter Coach offers a real-time on-screen gauge that shows the users how fast they are talking and whether it is too fast or too slow for what is considered the optimal pace for public speaking. All of this information is presented to the user in a clean 'rehearsal report' at the end of the presentation.

Users are shown how many slides they worked through and the time it took, how well they maintained the right pace, their pace improvements over time, sensitive phrases that may need to be removed from the text, any issues they had with filler words, and more. The new Presenter Coach feature will be available in PowerPoint starting this summer.