New Software To Be Reviewed Review

Speech Over 4: I don't want my computer do the talking for me!

Submitted by jerrymouse on Sat, 2010-01-16 13:18.
Author's Product Rating:
Ease of Use: 
The lowest price: 0$
You can buy it at RegNow for that price.
Easy audio clip addition, professional voice, helps you time your talk, subtitles, pronunciation definition ability
Unattractive GUI, uses large WAV files, uses lots of resources with more audio clips, too expensive for personal use

Speech Over 4.0 is PowerPoint add-in from Tuval Software, that allows you to add voice-overs on your presentations. The audio clips can be easily added to the shapes on a slide or the slides themselves. Paul from NeoSpeech is the default voice, sounds professional enough. Alternatively you can record your own voice, if you're okay with all the noise your microphone will pick up. Or you can attach a media file, which can also be done without the software.

The plus side is you can time your presentations easily, and of course, let the computer do the talking. If you have older PowerPoint presentations with notes added, you can simply make the voice read out the notes. There's an option with which you can also display scrolling subtitles for the narration. Technical words are the most crucial and troublesome, but with Speech Over you can define their pronunciations using standard phonemes or syllables from the lexicon library.

Background music is always cool with presentations, and Speech Over lets you add that below the voice. But you can only include WAV files, not MP3s. The program also generates WAV files for the added speech -- not convenient space-wise, if you prefer to carry your slides on portable media. But you can control the record quality to optimize for size.

The voice pitch, volume, speed, delay and emphasis can be changed easily, but I didn't find an easy option to remove these effects, apart from manually deleting symbols from the narration text.

The down sides: the GUI is not that attractive or user-friendly. The serious issue is that it consumes a lot of RAM when generating or refreshing lots of audio clips, and the computer starts hanging up. You have to get separate installers for Office 2003/XP and Office 2007.

For $299, this could be useful for corporate users, but I won't rate it good enough for that kind of use. And above all, I prefer to read my own presentation, and keep my computer's mouth shut!


Speech Over 4 from Tuval software has a lot of promise for making interactive PowerPoint presentations, but it's just not there yet! Too expensive for the utility.