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Text to speech and Power Point Talk

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Making a presentation with Power Point slides can be quite tricky for a person with a speech impediment. Often a person who uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).device or speech generating device has to advance the slide and then hit a button or switch to have their AAC device say what the person wants to say for that particular slide. This requires coordination and timing.

As a person with a speech impediment, who gives presentations I was faced with challenge quite often, until recently. I have found a way to embed my text to speech into the Power Point slide so that the slide will automatically speak what I want said.

Here is how:

You will need 2 software packages Microsoft Power Point as well as NextUp TextAloud.

The technique I have outlined below works best for me. However, you may find different techniques that work for you.

Make your Power Point slides as you normally would with the exception of any sound files you might usually include. After you have finished preparing your slides print out a copy. This will be helpful with doing the next step.

Now that you have finish preparing your slides now is the time to make your text to speech files. Minimize Microsoft Power Point and open NextUp TextAloud.

In TextAloud it’s best to name each of your files to correspond to the slide. So, for the purposes of this article; title your first TextAloud file as “Slide 1”. After you have title the file now you can type what you want to say about “Slide 1.”

When you have finished typing what you want to say about “Slide 1” you will first make a text file and then secondly you will make an mp3 file. To make a text file you will go to File | Save As | Text. It is important to make a text file because this will allow you to edit what you have written later if you need to.

Next, you will need to make your sound file of what you have typed about your slide. Before making your sound file be sure the speed of the voice is appropriate. You can adjust the speed by sliding the notch located next to Speed. Once you have the speed adjusted to your preference you can now make your sound file.

To make a sound file you simply click the “Speak to File” button this will create an mp3 or wav file. The name of the sound file will be same name of the text file you created earlier.

Now that you have your sound file created, you can now insert it in to your Power Point slide. Open Microsoft Power Point, and load your saved presentation. Next, find the particular slide you want the sound file in. Now, go to Insert | Movies and Sounds | Sound From File. Locate the sound file you just created. Click on the file name and click ok. You will now get a pop-up box with 2 choices, Automatically & When Clicked. The “Automatically” option will automatically play the sound file for you when the slide comes up. The “When Clicked” option plays the sound file after you have hit the space bar on your computer. Either way works great!

Repeat the steps above for each slide with in your presentation.

Using the method I outlined, making a presentation with Power Point slides will be less tricky and smoother for a person with speech impairment. This will eliminate the need for coordination in incorporating an AAC device with a Power Point presentation.


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Author: Glenn Moscoso
Affiliation: CATEA - Georgia Institute of Technology
Email Address: gmoscoso@gmail.com
Web Site: http://www.catea.org