Can AI help with public speaking? A review of AI platforms

Phoebe Perelman

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Phoebe Perelman

Public speaking skills are essential for every professional. But like any skill, public speaking takes practice. And if you really want to improve, you need guidance from a professional coach (like me)!

Before I get carried away about the importance of a speaker coach, let me stop there — that’s not what this blog is about. This blog is about whether AI can be that coach. I rigorously tested four different AI platforms that promised to help anyone hone their public speaking skills. Check out my findings of their pros and cons below!

Can AI tools help improve your speaking skills?

I needed to know: Can an artificial intelligence-fueled platform help someone become a more authentic, confident, and persuasive speaker? And if so … how? I was skeptical, so I set out to see what type of delivery coaching today’s AI platforms offer.

4 benefits of an AI coaching platform for public speaking practice

After lots of testing, I realized that there are four benefits to utilizing an AI coaching platform for public speaking practice and coaching.

1. No pressure

Public speaking can be scary. And for some, even practicing a speech or presentation in front of a coach is cold-sweat-inducing. With an AI coach, however, you can get delivery feedback without the pressure of presenting in front of another human.


Speaker coaching


2. On-demand access

Like most online content, one of the biggest perks is being able to access it on your own time. If you want to practice your speech:

  • After business hours
  • On an irregular cadence
  • For three hours straight (Not that we recommend that … )
  • At the last minute, or on the spot as time allows

Then an AI platform is a solid option for you. After all, AI coaching platforms have no scheduling constraints. You can access a robo-coach at any time, for any length of time.

3. Low-cost

When you seek out an expert human coach, that expertise comes at a price. AI coaching platforms, on the other hand, are more affordable. Some AI platforms are free, others offer free versions, and even the paid platforms won’t break the bank. So, if you need speaker coaching on a budget, an AI speaking coach is a great option.

4. More Practice

Lastly, AI coaching tools make it easier for anyone to practice their public speaking skills, receive feedback, and gain self-awareness — which is always the first step in learning or improving a skill.

Pitfalls of AI platforms for public speaking

Despite the general benefits, there are also some general drawbacks to keep in mind when utilizing an AI coaching platform.

No context

Context changes everything. As a speaker coach myself, I spend a lot of time upfront asking my clients questions. I ask about:

  • The event;
  • The stage;
  • The audience;
  • The client’s goals;
  • The client’s speaking style;
  • And more.

This context is integral to best serving the speaker and their audience. However, most AI platforms can’t collect contextual details to inform their feedback. So, although someone may be practicing a serious speech about declining revenue, an AI tool may give generic advice like encouraging them to smile more — which would not be appropriate for the context.

Sometimes a tool like our Audience Needs Map™ is all someone needs to help aid them in this context.


Audience resources colored button


Limited feedback

Most AI coaching platforms solely offer feedback on delivery. This makes sense, considering that’s what they’re programmed to do. However, we human speaker coaches often find that clients need coaching on more than delivery alone. Sometimes, it’s the content that negatively impacts delivery, so the speech needs to be condensed, written more conversationally, or altered completely.

Although an AI coach can decipher whether you’re using repetitive language, rambling on, or relying on filler words, it cannot offer quality feedback on content that a real speaker coach can.

Repetitive feedback

Many AI platforms reuse the same feedback repeatedly. So, if you need to pause more, you receive a standardized blurb or quick video about the importance of pausing. Every time. Or, if you need to alter your pace, you get the same feedback about the ideal pacing range over and over again. Although this feedback may be helpful initially, it becomes less useful over time.

In addition to these general advantages and drawbacks, each AI platform I tested has its own pros and cons. I recommend trying them out to see for yourself, but if you’d rather learn from my experience, keep on reading.

AI platforms to try

Microsoft Coach

First up, Microsoft Speaker Coach.​


  1. This AI tool is easy to use and accessible to anyone with a Microsoft PowerPoint account. You simply open a presentation of choice, select ‘slideshow’ in the top toolbar, and then click the ‘rehearse with coach’ button. Viola! No muss, no fuss.
  2. Microsoft Speaker Coach assesses some of the most fundamental delivery criteria. Once you finish presenting, it provides a rehearsal report with information related to:
    • Timing
    • Pace
    • Pitch
    • Fillers
    • Repetitive language
    • Originality

    This is a great place to start for anyone who has limited knowledge of fundamental delivery considerations.


    Actual screenshot of my practice session


    Although Microsoft Speaker Coach assesses foundational delivery criteria, I found that some of its analytics fell short — which leads me to the cons.


  1. Microsoft Speaker Coach calls you out for regurgitating on-slide copy, which is good. But you can digress from your topic completely, and it will congratulate you on your originality. So Microsoft Speaker Coach wouldn’t be able to advise that your talking points must relate to what’s on-slide.
  2. Although the pitch monitor fluctuates slightly from one session to another, the pitch feedback remains the same no matter what — even if you sing your entire presentation in a pitch that only dogs and Mariah Carey can register.
  3. There’s no video element, which means you’re not getting feedback on body language, eye contact, or facial expressions.
  4. Once you close your rehearsal report, it’s gone forever. So, there’s no place to review previous reports and compare your progress, which is a major pitfall in the grand scheme of professional development.


Next up is an AI platform that’s garnered a lot of industry recognition: Yoodli.


  1. My favorite Yoodli component is the recording library. Users can record practice runs, and then the video recording and the corresponding feedback are saved to a library for future reference.
  2. Yoodli can be helpful for human speaker coaches, too. Coaches can invite a Yoodli bot into a client meeting to record and analyze their presentation. Then, the recording is immediately uploaded to a library so that coaches can watch an instant playback of the speaker’s presentation with them.


  1. Although Yoodli highlights when you do something well and what can be improved upon, it doesn’t identify specific opportunities for improvement. For example, after one practice session, Yoodli recommended pausing more, but didn’t suggest where to add a pause or pause for longer.


    Actual screenshot of generic pausing feedback


  2. The video-based analysis is limited to smiles and eye contact — there’s no mention of body language. Not to mention that the encouragement to smile more could be problematic if you’re delivering an internal talk about poor office conduct or global conflict.
  3. The pacing feature functions by averaging the number of words per minute. During one practice session, I deliberately spoke as fast as I possibly could and then switched to speaking in slow motion. Since Yoodli took the average pace, Yoodli reported that I sounded ‘conversational’ and ‘relaxed’— although I certainly was not.


The next AI coaching platform on our review roster is called VirtualSpeech.


  1. VirtualSpeech utilizes virtual reality to immerse you in a setting of your choice. You can select from options like a TEDx theatre, a virtual group meeting, or a conference room. You can even enable interruptions that are likely to occur in a real setting, like a phone ringing or a cougher in the front row. This is a great way to prepare for the distractions that come with presenting in person.


  1. When it comes to feedback, this tool provides a limited assessment and few specific, actionable tips for improvement. Instead of personalized feedback, you receive some content about the importance of delivery components like eye contact, pausing, etc.


    Screenshot of the platform


  2. The user experience isn’t the most intuitive. There are many different interface components and links that I found myself getting lost when searching for resources and wishing for specific course recommendations based on my practice results.


Last, but not least, let’s talk about the AI tool Poised.


  1. Poised is easy to use and integrates seamlessly with various online meeting platforms like Zoom or WebEx.
  2. Poised highlights both ‘what you did well’ and ‘what you could try next time’ in its assessment.
  3. Poised offers a comprehensive resource library with videos and blogs that cover public speaking and storytelling basics. However, the platform doesn’t recommend relevant content based on growth areas; it’s up to users to browse on their own.


  1. Poised doesn’t connect to your camera (at least during practice sessions), so there’s no way to receive visual feedback like eye contact, facial expressions, or body language.
  2. Poised provides limited insight into your specific performance and provides general tips instead.
  3. Poised is designed to assess your public speaking in online meetings, so some suggestions don’t apply to other public speaking formats.

Are AI coaching platforms suitable for executives?

Although these AI tools can be helpful for brand-new speakers who have limited knowledge of effective delivery characteristics, they’re not suitable for executives or seasoned speakers who need nuanced feedback to go from good to great.

Selecting the right speaker coach for you

If you’re wondering whether you need a speaker coach, or how to select the right speaker coach, you’re in luck: we have another blog to help you figure it out.

Duarte is known for coaching executives from the leading brands in the world. So if an AI speaking coach isn’t cutting it, you can receive personalized, actionable feedback and resources from an expert speaker coach at Duarte.

Or, you can enroll in Captivate™, our public speaking course that elevates your delivery so that you can speak with confidence and seize the spotlight.

Break a leg!



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