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Treating your audience with the utmost respect in any presentation is something we are very passionate about here at Eyeful… but what happens if despite all your presentation skills, your audience literally cannot hear you?

Office 365 may have found the answer!

Early next year, a new accessibility feature has been designed to make presentations more inclusive, and will help hearing-impaired individuals by automatically turning speech into captions and subtitles. (Hurrah! I hear you shout, and caption on the screen).

This AI tool has been used by Microsoft internally for the past few years and now we’re being given the keys to the door. It will initially support 12 spoken languages and will appear as a display on-screen in more than 60 languages. Ruddy marvellous!

This is, of course, not a brand new technology as it has previously been available as an add-in by Microsoft and a similar feature using in G Suite. But, from the footage we’ve seen it appears that this will be no more than 3 clicks of your mouse away from being on your presentation. Ultimately, this will help even the most inexperienced PowerPoint users be able to engage more with their audience… and we know that’s only got to be a good thing. This will appeal to audience members who are hard of hearing or speak a different language. However, if the presentation does not tell a great story or have a weak message they may well be voicing their disapproval towards Microsoft headquarters!

In the jazzy video presentation from Microsoft it claims that the “New features in PowerPoint help make your presentations more inclusive”. So, it doesn’t need to be boring either, this will include the ability to customise and adapt things like appearance and speech recognition. So, hopefully this will mean more engaged audiences receiving great and powerful messages. What a great way to start 2019!

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