NEWS: PowerPoint transcribes and translates your speech, live

Following the announcement last month from Microsoft, the new live transcription feature is now available for PowerPoint. The feature, developed for the benefit of people with hearing difficulties, automatically transcribes the presenter’s speech and displays them on screen. This happens while the presenter is speaking. Essentially, PowerPoint now transcribes speech.

Using AI, the feature draws technical terms and words from the presentation file itself. However, it does more than simply show what is being said. Translation can be applied to the speech, meaning presentations can be given to audiences in different languages. Currently 10 spoken languages can be recognised by the program, including English, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. Those can then be translated and displayed into more than 60 languages. Microsoft promises yet more with future updates.


As well as live-transcribing the presenter’s speech, the new AI will also translate on-screen text within the PowerPoint file. Microsoft claim that formatting will be retained during the process.

One innovative feature of the update involves the ability to share a QR code with the audience. This will allow them to select a language of their preference. Then, using their own device, they can follow along with the presentation in their own language. People can also ask questions during Q&A sessions in their own language, and PowerPoint will translate on-screen for all to understand. Then vice versa for the answer.

PowerPoint will now translate and transcribe your presentation as you speak

Essentially the update has provided regular presenters with the opportunity to broaden their scope in terms of target audience, as PowerPoint transcribes speech. The feature was developed with the hard-of-hearing in mind, but live translation to more than 60 languages means our presentations can now find a global audience. Another great reason to update.

Find out more about the update, and download the necessary add-ons, right here.