Concise and clear speaking is an essential communication skill that employers value. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, approximately 96 percent of businesses view oral and written communication as an essential competency but only 42 percent of employees are proficient at these skills. In classrooms there is always someone presenting information. Whether students are engaging in discussion or giving reports, or educators are presenting new material or conferencing with students, presentation skills are critical.
Speaker Coach, a Microsoft Learning Accelerator, enhances both foundational and workplace skills. With a focus on public speaking, Speaker Coach uses innovative technology that automatically analyzes a speaker’s communication style and helps them present information more effectively. Whether they are a native speaker or an English Language Learner, any student will benefit from the practical feedback and custom reports that highlight areas of strength and ways to improve delivery. Speaker Coach helps students not only build critical skills, but they also develop confidence in their speaking abilities while practicing.
Designed for student-driven learning and educator freedom
Intelligent, automatic help is one of many reasons why educators choose to use Speaker Coach with their students. Like other Learning Accelerators, Speaker Coach offers:
- Real-time coaching: Immediate personalized coaching and practice for students
- Inclusive design: Students can practice where they feel most comfortable and use built-in accessibility tools that increase access
- Time-saving efficiency: Learning Accelerators are built into Microsoft 365 and offer technology-assisted learning instead of teacher-directed instruction
- Actionable insights: Help track progress, display where students are challenged and excelling, and provide a more holistic view of student progress
More importantly, Speaker Coach incorporates good pedagogy. Students oversee their own learning by following detailed, pragmatic feedback that can be applied to the task at hand: improving communication clarity and enhancing public speaking skills. The analysis also enables students to learn whenever and wherever it is most convenient without needing someone else to participate.
From individual support to following a curriculum pacing guide, educators have more teaching commitments than time to complete all that is required of them. That makes Speaker Coach a valuable tool for educators; it frees time for other tasks because students can use Speaker Coach’s automatic feedback instead of direct teacher intervention. Mike Thomas, Senior Digital Learning Analyst for Springfield Public Schools, believes that Speaker Coach and other Learning Accelerators positively impact teaching in his district:
“School is 180 days at six hours a day, and we must prioritize what is being taught. By having these tools available, it puts less focus trying to always deliver. It gives students the ability to learn for themselves. With tools like Reading Progress, Immersive Reader, and now Speaker Coach, I think we can take that student empowerment to the next level.”-Mike Thomas, Senior Digital Learning Analyst for Springfield Public Schools
Perfect your next PowerPoint presentation
Get feedback on your presentation
Speaker Coach in PowerPoint provides suggestions while a student speaks, and it delivers a tailored, final report that is packed with ways to improve their delivery. Using a computer’s camera and microphone, Speaker Coach analyzes key qualities of effective communication:
- Pace: Monitor speed and receive pacing suggestions that increase audience recall and comprehension
- Filler Words: Highlight frequently used filler words like “um” and “you know”
- Pitch: Listen for monotone pitch that can negatively affect messaging
- Pronunciation: Isolate indistinct pronunciation or mispronunciation
- Originality: Call out instances when reading directly from a slide
- Inclusiveness: Discover when language is not inclusive in areas like disability, gender, and race
- Speech Refinements: Spot speech problems like wordiness and euphemisms
- Repetitive Words: Count words and phrases that are repeatedly spoken
- Body Language: Analyze physical mannerisms, posture, and eye contact
In addition to automatic, real-time suggestions while practicing, Speaker Coach generates a personalized report that can be used as a learning tool. Each report is customized to the speaking session, contains interactive feedback and analysis, and is privately shared so that students can securely review suggestions without the pressure of having another person listen and critique.
Rehearsal report summarizes your performance and provides actionable feedback
Because Speaker Coach automatically listens and analyzes multiple aspects of a presentation, students can use it at school or at home without someone else participating. Speaker Coach is like a teaching assistant who is always available and willing to offer constructive feedback in a judgement-free environment.
Students in Spring Public Schools in Springfield, MA have been using Speaker Coach to practice and prepare for classroom presentations. Educators are already seeing improvements in how ideas are communicated.
“Speaker Coach is giving the students the confidence to be able to present in front of others and share their voice.” — Melissa Zeitz, Digital Literacy and Computer Science Teacher for Springfield Public Schools
Rehearse with Speaker Coach
To start using Speaker Coach in PowerPoint:
- Open PowerPoint
- Add information to the slide show
- Go to Slide Show in the ribbon
- Select Rehearse with Coach
- Allow PowerPoint to use the camera and microphone
Coaching suggestions during live meetings
Students and educators can also use Speaker Coach during scheduled Teams meetings and live events. The Teams integration delivers private speaking suggestions and guidance during roundtable discussions or while sharing content from a PowerPoint or Word Document. Unobtrusive tips appear at the top of the Teams window and are only visible to the speaker. When you leave the meeting, Speaker Coach generates a timestamped report with actionable insights for improving speaking clarity, word choice, inclusiveness, and information. This report lives inside of Teams and is available to review and compare over time or throughout the year.
Follow a few simple steps to use Speaker Coach in Teams for Education:
- Schedule a Teams Meeting with a peer or colleague. Speaker Coach is unavailable in Meet Now meetings.
- Select More.
- Select Turn on Speaker Coach and follow any additional prompts. Contact your IT Administrator if you do not see this option as some clients need preview features enabled.
What are you waiting for? Say goodbye to standing in front of a mirror and talking to yourself. Instead, let Speaker Coach analyze your communication skills and reduce anxiety associated with public speaking.