Use Microsoft Translator to Empower Your Audience

Microsoft TranslatorDo you worry that your presentations may not be read by everyone? Have attendees from other countries and don’t want to leave them out? Then the Microsoft Translator may help you to get more out of your presentations.

You could get the slides professionally translated, but that costs money and potentially a bigger issue, do you know ahead of time that you need to offer slides in other languages. Or what if you’re asked to present at short notice, do you always know the makeup of your audience in enough time for the translations. Not many of us can keep a stock of translated presentations in the off-chance that they might be needed. We may well need something that is much more speedy.

This is where the Microsoft translation services and the PowerPoint plug-in come in.1 With them you can translate your slides whenever you want, have the slides translated on the fly to individuals and also (with a little extra equipment) have your speech translated in real time.

Let’s look at this in more detail.


Here are the key features of the Microsoft Translator:

  • Live Subtitling
  • Customised speech recognition
  • Personal translations
  • Muli-language Q&A
  • Inclusivity through Accessibility
  • Translate you presentation while preserving the slide formatting

We’ll look at these in more detail


Live Subtitling

You can have 10 spoken languages2 or over 60 written languages. The spoken languages will only be useful if the audience are using headphones (see Personal Translations), unless they all require the same translation. IE, you are presenting to a group who are all French or Spanish.


Customised Speech Recognition

More than likely you use some words that are specific to your industry or discipline. The system allows you to add these from your slides, however, beware this is only available in English and Chinese. This can also check through the notes to slides, and this could well be an area where you have used non-standard language.


Personal Translations

This could be very useful (see Live Subtitling), if your audience have their own device, they can follow along with the presentation in real time. Though mobile devices are perhaps the most common, this can be done through a website.


Multi-Language Q&A

There is the facility to mute and unmute the audience. Unmuting, allows them the ask questions in their own language (the same restrictions apply, 10 for spoken, 60+ for written).


Inclusivity Through Accessibility

Potentially very exiting as it could be useful for anyone. The use of Live Subtitling can help where you have audience member who are deaf/hard of hearing.


Translate you presentation while preserving the slide formatting

In addition to the live subtitles the slides themselves can be translated for distribution to any delegates who require the slides in another language.


Those of you that do a lot of presentations or who present to large numbers of people, could face a problem of communication to members of your audience. This could be language, hearing difficulties or even both.

This solution could be an answer to this issue, especially in cases where you cannot be sure what your audience needs are in time to do a great deal of preparation.

Some things to bear in mind:

  • Practice with your set-up and the presentation
  • Unless you know the languages being translated, you cannot be absolutely sure as to the accuracy
  • Unless you are only distributing translated slides after the event, there would need to be a good Internet connection where you are delivering your presentation. This is especially true if audience members are using their devices or a provided computer. The translations are handled by the Microsoft Translator at their end.
  • The translation app is available for both Android and IOS (Apple).
  • However, the Microsoft Translator plug-in for PowerPoint is only available for PC and not for Mac


In summary, this solution could be a boon to audience inclusivity, be it a language barrier or hearing difficulties. Whereas the former may rarely apply, encountering people with hearing difficulties can be quite common.


If you wish to know more and install the PowerPoint plug-in then follow this link

1 PC only

2 The spoken languages are: Arabic, Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.

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