Skip to Content
Strawberries and Caneberries
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Agriculture and Natural Resources Blogs
SAT, APR 20 2024
by Chris Greer
on February 23, 2024 at 8:40 AM
I have no idea what that does. But, I may have to test it out now that you made me curious. Chris
by Mark P Bolda
on February 23, 2024 at 11:04 AM
See what you find out Chris, thanks. It would be interesting to see what its take would be on really well done, powerful speeches, for example Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" - would the computer demand that the emotional level be dialed down? Maybe it would suggest it would be more approachable for the audience if were broken down into lists.  
My whole take here is that this coaching app seems to be striving towards a universal standard of giving a talk, which for me sucks a lot of the life out of what should be a really creative, personalized project.
by Tunyalee A. Martin
on February 23, 2024 at 5:16 PM
Hi Mark! I have used it and like it. I have a tendency to talk too fast and it lets you know when you're doing so. It also measures your level of inflection, so maybe making sure you're not too boring? I am not a MLK-like speaker so i'd also be interested to see how it assesses famous speeches.
by Mark P Bolda
on February 24, 2024 at 5:13 AM
Hi Tunyalee, thanks for sharing your experience with the Powerpoint coaching feature. While I do strive to be a better speaker every time, I am emphatically not an MLK level speaker myself! I was thinking about this matter earlier today and told myself I need to try the coaching feature out too, rather than nattering about it from the sidelines. You are good to have tested it already.  
Being a scientist, I'll run a trial and see what comes of it. I think I will see what the coach says about an upcoming talk I am practicing, and then gauge the audience reaction when I do it live in my style. If the coach pans the talk in the style I intend, yet I garner a five minute standing ovation when doing it live I'll drop it. If it's the opposite, well then too I'll modify my stance and start using the coach.
by Gerald Holmes
on March 2, 2024 at 9:37 PM
Interesting feature. I tried it on a 4-min presentation just to get a feel for it. Can't hurt to use it. I like that it measures volume range, speed, vocabulary and filler words. Filler words are death to a presentation and many people will be surprised at what a tool like this will tell them.  
Mark, I've heard you speak several times and you are a very engaging speaker. One thing you do very well is fluctuate your volume and pace while maintaining eye contact with your audience. It always flows very naturally and effectively. I don't think this PPT Coach would measure that effectively, especially since it would be tough to have the same inflection when doing this alone and not in front of a real audience.
by Mark P Bolda
on March 4, 2024 at 12:44 PM
Thank you for your kind words Gerald. Yes, I do strive to do well every time at public speaking, hence my curiosity about this coaching feature on Powerpoint.  
One advantage that the computer offers a person is that as a machine, it cannot give or take offense unlike a human evaluator and its judgement on the use of filler words, volume, speed and vocabulary are practically by definition objective. It certainly can't get mad at me for what it perceives as poor performance, nor does it make any sense for me to get mad at it for stating that. Just take what it suggests at face value and no more than that.  
While for truly great speeches this still will not be the ticket, I agree with you Gerald that all said it can't hurt to give it a try to sort some stuff out when crafting a talk.
Leave a Reply:

You are currently not signed in. If you have an account, then sign in now!
Anonymous users messages may be delayed.

Security Code: