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How to Use Text-to-Speech in PowerPoint

Text-to-speech technology provides an essential accessibility feature and enhances the multimedia experience in presentations. In Microsoft PowerPoint, TTS can read aloud the text on slides, making it a useful tool for those who prefer auditory learning or for presenters who require narration in their slideshows. The integration of TTS in PowerPoint is relatively straightforward and does not necessitate advanced technical know-how.

Users can activate the Speak command, a built-in text-to-speech feature in PowerPoint and other Office applications, by selecting text and utilizing the Speak function to hear spoken words. This feature supports various languages and voice configurations, depending on the TTS engines installed on the user's computer. By employing such capabilities, PowerPoint presentations become more versatile and accessible, allowing information to be conveyed both visually and audibly.

Incorporating text-to-speech into presentations not only aids in reinforcing verbal communication but also ensures that the content is accessible to a wider audience including individuals with visual impairments or reading challenges. As the demand for inclusive technology grows, the use of TTS in PowerPoint represents a step towards creating more accessible and engaging presentations.

Preparing Your PowerPoint for Text-to-Speech

Incorporating TTS into a PowerPoint presentation involves specific steps to set up the slide content for auditory delivery. Proper preparation ensures TTS will function smoothly.

Accessing PowerPoint

To begin, one needs to access the PowerPoint application. This can be done by locating PowerPoint through the Windows Start menu, Spotlight search on a Mac, or the application folder on either operating system. One should ensure they have a compatible version of PowerPoint installed that supports TTS features.

Adding the Text You Want to Read Aloud

The next step is adding the text that one wishes to be spoken aloud by the TTS feature. The text should be added directly onto the slides where it is to be read. Proper formatting is crucial for clarity and effectiveness:

  • Consider bullet points to separate ideas for easier comprehension.
  • Use short sentences to keep the TTS flow natural.
  • Break up large blocks of text across multiple slides to maintain attention and reduce monotony.
  • Ensure consistent formatting across slides for a professional look.

Once the text is in place, one should review it for accuracy and ease of understanding when spoken.

Using Text-to-Speech Features

PowerPoint's text-to-speech (TTS) capability allows users to have their slides read aloud, facilitating accessibility and aiding in practice sessions for presentations.

Activating Text-to-Speech

To activate text-to-speech, users must first add the Speak command to the Quick Access Toolbar. This is achieved by customizing the toolbar in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, or Excel, and selecting the Speak command from the list of options. After adding Speak, one can select the text within a slide and click the Speak button to have PowerPoint read the text aloud.

Configuring Text-to-Speech Settings

PowerPoint's TTS settings can be adapted to meet different language and voice requirements. Users can navigate to the system's speech settings to adjust the speaking rate, voice selection, and language preferences. This ensures that the spoken text aligns with the presenter’s needs.

Practical Uses of Text-to-Speech in Presentations

Text-to-speech in PowerPoint is beneficial for reviewing slides, aiding individuals with visual impairments, or rehearsing a presentation to gauge the timing of spoken content. For a seamless experience, one should divide text across slides appropriately, as excessive text can overwhelm listeners. TTS can also be useful for creating video versions of presentations, where the spoken audio plays alongside the displayed content.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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