023 Speech synthesis and the presenter

Image source Flickr / Author: Yandle

Rarely do we think about speech synthesis (written text spoken by a computer voice) when it comes to presentations. After all, the presenter is the host. But what if the host had a soar throat, or had an English accent to pronounced that the audience is likely to give up and leave the room shortly after the start of the presentation… The applications of text-to-speech do not stop there. Many presenters actually write their whole speech ahead of time in the note section of their PowerPoint or Keynote slides. Having the computer voice speak out these notes allows you to discover that certain sentences read fine as printed  text, but no longer sound fine when spoken. It’s time to make these sentences a little less formal. And while you are at it, see how long the computer voice takes to read your speech – and check that you do not exceed the allotted time!  We interview, Dr Kim Silverman, the Apple scientist who is responsible for one of the best American voices in computer speech today, Alex. The MAC user will be able to watch an interesting program showing how to have Mac’s voice present for you. The other site where the self-presenting presentation is mentioned is here.

By Jean-luc Lebrun

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