21 March 2018
Presentation Speech Support System: An aid for fine-tuning presentations skills
Professor, Faculty of Engineering Science
An important aspect of effective presentation is careful synchronization between the oral and visual contents of the speech. Presenters generally use changes in speech intonation and graphics on a slide, known as emphasis-intentions, to convey important points. However, inadequate coordination results in ambiguity, as can happen with speakers delivering presentations in a language that is not their mother tongue.
Here, Tomoko Kojiri and Takaya Kaji at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan, describe the development of their 'Presentation Speech Support System' as an aid to individuals to improve their presentation skills using emphasis-intentions. The system is based on an algorithm that recognizes two kinds of inputs. It measures the number of intonations and pauses, which are signs of emphasis while speaking. For the visual aspect, any text with indentations, links or changes in font and colour are measured. The algorithm then produces a comparison of the number of emphasis intentions in the slides and speech, which ideally should be the same.
The researchers invited six students to test this system and feedback was generated indicating which emphasis-intention needed improvement, namely, slides, intonations or pausing. Most of the students assimilated the feedback, focusing on the aspects deemed weakest by the system. In a follow-up presentation, they were assessed by their peers as well as an unbiased faculty member. Assessment showed that most of the students showed signs of improvement.
Kojiri and Kaji have developed a reliable system, which can be especially helpful for individuals in need of training in public speaking. Theyexpect that adding features such as identification of specific emphasis-intentions and customized speech recognition will further refine the system.
Figure 1. Simplified workflow of the Presentation Speech Support System.
Tomoko Kojiri and Takaya Kaji, Effective Presentation Speech Support System for Representing Emphasis-Intention, Systems, 4, 1-9, (2016): published online 23 December, 2015.
Faculty of Engineering Science, Kansai University, 3-3-35, Yamate-cho, Suita, Osaka 564-8680, Japan.