We've all sat through presentations where our will to live is shot down by bullet point after bullet point of stuff that should have been an email we could ignore instead of a presentation that bores us to tears. Microsoft has been trying to destroy 'Death by PowerPoint' for a while now, through enhancements to its presentation design tool.
The company is now adding AI to the PowerPoint app to help coach you through delivering a memorable presentation.
Some of the new AI-driven features are pretty cool. For example, if you create a slide that says "The size of Afghanistan, which is 652,232 km², the software will add “about equal to the size of Texas” to help the audience understand that number more easily.
The last major revision of PowerPoint added intelligence which makes suggestions around design and image choice. When you create a blank presentation and enter words onto the slide, Designer recommends a selection of new high quality photographs, that are fully licensed for commercial use, to match the slide text, along with theme styles and complementary colours.
As someone who has spent a lot of time searching for stock images, this is a pretty helpful tool. And, while the danger is that everyone's slides will end up looking similar, as we'll all be sharing from the same pool of images, the tips can help you design a better presentation.
The big new addition to PowerPoint is the Presenter Coach. This tool uses academic research and field studies to create a set of best practices that are integrated into the software to help you become a better presenter. It helps with things like pacing, the use of inclusive langauge and alerting you to when you "umm" and "ahh" as you're speaking.
Presenter Coach isn't quite ready at the time of writing but should be available before winter is over.
[Source: Office 365 Blog]