An AI-powered Magic Tool for Stellar Presentations and Personalised Learning: Meet Speaker Coach

Right now we are hearing a lot about AI. Constant hype. Noise. Brilliance. Ethics. Hallucinations. Early adopters who are fully fledged prompt-Engineers raving about ChatGPT or the Big Bang Theory of what’s coming down the tracks in the tech space. On the other end of the spectrum, we have those who may fear and avoid digital technologies or perhaps those who believe AI should be banned.. ‘Is there a tool I can use to identify plagiarism or cheating?’. You may or may not see yourself in one of those descriptions but I guarantee you have an educator colleague who does!

WARNING: A one paragraph history/finance lesson coming up… reading the next paragraph is optional.

AI is not new. Next year will mark 70 years since Computer Scientist and Mathematician, John McCarthy, coined the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’. International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast the global AI spend to exceed $300bn by 2026. AI is a multi-billion dollar global industry, GenAI and AI-powered technologies are now mainstream and they are here to stay. Enough of that for now… back to what does this mean for you, the educator?

Why? I’m not going to start with AI will give you back time. It will take a little time investment to get time back but I think you will find it will be worth it. In a nutshell, if not for you then give AI a go for your students. After all, they are the reason we do what we do.

Where? If you want to try GenAI for the first time check out my previous posts here on the Teachnet blog…

🔗 Feel the Fear and Hop on your First Flight with Copilot

🔗 Can playing with AI give educators back their time?

What? According to Microsoft’s Copilot, Generative AI refers to ‘artificial intelligence (AI) that has the ability to create new content. This content can take various forms, such as text, images, or other types of media.’

Learning Accelerators are a new category of learning tools included in Microsoft 365 Education. These tools are designed to streamline the creation, review, and analysis of practice assignments while providing real-time AI-powered coaching to students.

When? The time is now, get started with one of the learning accelerators built into the Microsoft ecosystem.

How? Think of a problem or challenge. A pressure point, a task that causes you frustration, is repetitive or that takes up a chunk of your time? Is there an AI-powered technology that could help you with that task? Stay with me for an example…

As educators, we know that delivering a presentation can be nerve-wracking. From my time in the classroom, as an Educator who used presentations as a form of assessment; I know that practice, rehearsal, preparation, formative feedback consumed a huge amount of time during class. I loved these classes but I always wished that we had more time.

Pain Point: Educator wants to give time to all students to practice and rehearse their presentation and follow up with formative feedback to develop the students skills, delivery and confidence.

What Is Speaker Coach?

Speaker Coach (formally Presenter Coach) is like having a personal presentation coach in your corner. It’s an AI-powered tool available in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, free and accessible for all Microsoft users, no need for a license. The best part, the tool works really well on the PowerPoint mobile app. Imagine having a personalised public speaking coach in your pocket, Speaker Coach makes this a reality.

The feature walks you through rehearsal of presentation slides, while you receive live pointers for improvement on screen while you practice. Meanwhile in the background AI-powered technology evaluates your speaking skills and provides a personalised feedback report when you are finished. The feature can do this on repeat!

“Why did the nervous presenter bring a ladder to the stage?” 🤔

Read on…

Why should I use Speaker Coach with my students?

  1. Time-Saver:

Speaker Coach can save precious time by pinpointing specific areas for improvement and provide a real-time personalised learning experience for all learners. On repeat, as often as they like.

  1. Personalised Feedback and Learning:

Students can receive tailored suggestions based on pacing, pitch, and their use of filler words. Speaker Coach doesn’t just say, “You’re doing great!”—it dives into specifics, helping students fine-tune their skills.

  1. One-on-One Coaching, Anytime, Anywhere:

Imagine having a dedicated coach available 24/7. Speaker Coach offers guidance whenever it’s needed. Available on PowerPoint for the web, desktop, IOS and Android.

  1. Free and Accessible:
    • Speaker Coach is part of your Microsoft 365 and there are no hidden costs. Just open PowerPoint, and it’s there, ready to elevate ones speaking game.

What Can Speaker Coach Do?

Evaluate Pacing:

Are your students racing through slides or dragging their words? Speaker Coach provides real time feedback to keep the presenter on track, ensuring pace is just right.

Eliminate Filler Words:

“Um,” “uh,” and “you know” are common culprits. Speaker Coach gently nudges the presenter away from the habitual verbal pitfalls.

Spot Reading from Slides:

Are students reading directly from slides? Speaker Coach encourages the presenter to engage with the audience.

Open a PowerPoint Presentation:

(Reminder: the feature is available across web, desktop, or macOS and PowerPoint Mobile app).

  1. Click the Slide Show tab.
  2. Click Rehearse with Coach.

Get Started:

  1. Your presentation opens in full-screen mode.
  2. Click Get Started when ready to rehearse.
  3. Speak naturally, and let Speaker Coach guide and work it’s magic.

Review the Rehearsal Report:

  1. After your practice run, Speaker Coach provides a detailed report with recommendations.
  2. Take note of the insights and work on refining speaking, presenting and delivery.

To use Speaker Coach in the PowerPoint Android app, open the app, select a presentation, click the 3 dot menu and tap ‘Rehearse with Coach’ then follow the on screen instructions.

In 5 minutes or less… Get started and try it for yourself…

Here’s your mission:

Introduce Speaker Coach:

  1. Share the good news with your students. Let them know that Speaker Coach could be their secret weapon for enhancing their skills and more confident presentations. Students could use the coach within PowerPoint and no one ever needs to know.

Formative Assessment and Peer Learning:

Bring Speaker Coach into to your classroom…

  1. Perhaps use Speaker Coach as a formative assessment tool. Ask students to share their reports with you. They’ll receive personalised feedback, improve their speaking skills and an AI-powered tool will take care of the assessment piece. WIN:WIN
  2. Consider peer learning activities where students work together to feedback to each other using the report from Speaker Coach.

Nail Those Summative Assessment Presentations:

  1. It’s assessment time of year! As this academic year is coming to an end, at least let your students know about Speaker Coach, help them shine during their final presentations.

Because they wanted to take their presentation to the next level!” 😅

Empower your students to take control of their own learning to level up their presentation skills…

Remember, Speaker Coach isn’t just about presentations – it’s about empowering students, personalising the learning experience, building confidence, developing effective communication, visible inclusivity and supporting our learners to take control of their own success.

Give it a go! Your students will thank you when they confidently nail their presentations. 🎤✨

All the best – @AshEd_PD

Microsoft Copilot (2024) ‘Define Generative AI in Plain English’. AI generated content.

Shirer, M. (2023) Worldwide Spending on AI-Centric Systems Forecast to Reach $154 Billion in 2023, According to IDC. IDC Media Centre [online]

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