How to Use PowerPoint Speaker Coach to Improve Your Presentation Skills

Giving presentations can be nerve-wracking. Even experienced speakers get anxious before big talks. Fortunately, PowerPoint has a built-in virtual coach to help you rehearse and improve your presentation skills.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to use PowerPoint’s Speaker Coach feature to get real-time feedback during practice sessions. By the end, you’ll be able to deliver polished, professional presentations with confidence.

Step 1: Open Your Presentation in PowerPoint

To start, open the PowerPoint presentation you want to rehearse. Speaker Coach works with PowerPoint desktop applications for Windows and Mac, as well as the web version.

If you don’t have a presentation ready, you can use a template from PowerPoint to practice. Just go to File > New and browse the presentation templates to get started.

Step 2: Click on “Rehearse with Coach”

Go to the Slide Show tab and click on “Rehearse with Coach” in the Set Up group.

Rehearse with Coach button

This will launch Speaker Coach so you can start your practice session.

Step 3: Allow Access to Your Microphone and Camera

A dialog box will appear asking for permission to access your microphone and camera. Click yes to enable.

Speaker Coach relies on your computer’s microphone and webcam to analyze aspects of your presentation delivery like speech patterns, body language, pacing, etc.

If you’re using PowerPoint for the web, you may need to choose your microphone input if you have multiple devices connected.

Step 4: Start Rehearsing

Once microphone and camera access is enabled, click the “Start Rehearsing” button.

You’ll be switched into a full screen slideshow mode. Wait until you see the “Listening…” message displayed before you start speaking.

Listening prompt

As you present, Speaker Coach will provide real-time guidance on screen about your pacing, filler words, and slide reading.

Step 5: Show On-Screen Feedback (Optional)

If you want to see detailed ongoing feedback during your rehearsal, check the “Show real-time feedback” option before starting.

With this enabled, Speaker Coach displays a feedback box highlighting issues like speaking pace and inclusive language as they occur.

Real-time feedback

The guidance fades after a few seconds but will reappear if the same problems persist.

Step 6: Rehearse Your Presentation

Now it’s time to practice! Present through your slide deck as you would during the real thing.

Speak clearly and loudly enough for the microphone to pick up your voice. Make sure you are visible on camera as well so Speaker Coach can analyze body language.

If you have speaking notes, use a separate device or printout. Speaker Coach does not provide access to speaker notes during rehearsals.

Step 7: End the Session

When you finish reviewing all your slides, press the ESC key to exit the full screen rehearsal mode.

Speaker Coach will compile the feedback from your session into a handy report.

Step 8: Review Your Rehearsal Report

The automatically generated report summarizes how you did in different presentation skill areas like avoiding filler words, proper pacing, slide reading, and more.

Key things the report covers:

  • Statistics on speech patterns
  • Advice to improve delivery
  • Examples of issues noticed and when they occurred
  • Audio clips to demonstrate areas needing work

Be sure to take screenshots of the feedback for future reference! Speaker Coach reports cannot be accessed again after closing.

Step 9: Rehearse Again

Use the tips from your Speaker Coach report to refine your presentation. Then, go through the rehearsal process again.

Repeating practice sessions is key to improving as Speaker Coach gives you customized advice based on each individual performance.

Over time, you’ll notice improvements in the report metrics and have an easier time avoiding previous pitfalls.

Step 10: Deliver a Polished Presentation

After multiple rehearsals with Speaker Coach, you’ll start to develop confident, professional presentation skills.

You’ll speak fluidly at the right pace, minimize filler words, make consistent eye contact, and more thanks to the AI-powered virtual training.

Now you’re ready to deliver a polished, impactful presentation to any audience!

So next time you have a big speech, leverage PowerPoint’s Speaker Coach to help you prepare like a pro. With personalized feedback and dedicated practice, you’ll be primed to present your best.