Have a fear of public speaking? Let VR help you

Public speaking is a fear felt by many professionals. Now, virtual reality provides a safe way to overcome this fear and improve speaking skills.
18 May 2018 | 18801 Shares

Public speaking is the single most common phobia, according to numerous studies. Source: Shutterstock

The ability to have good public speaking skills is a necessity in most professions. From sharing an idea to a room of 10 people to speaking at an industry event in a conference hall filled with hundreds of on-lookers.

You may have Googled your way to this article in desperation of finding a cure for your pre-speech nerves- and you’re not alone in your fear.

The anxiety felt from public speaking (also known as Glossophobia) is a real condition for a large number of people. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, 74 percent of individuals suffer from speech anxiety and 3.2 million Americans have a fear of crowded or public places.

Among the list of “tips and tricks,” you have come across on how to evaporate your public-speaking fears are to “take deep breaths”, to “imagine your audience naked”, and to “know that nerves are okay”.

But if these tips simply aren’t convincing enough to shift that dreaded fear, then there may be a better solution. What if you had the opportunity to practice your speech in front of a live audience… in the comfort of your own home?

“One of the best ways to overcome any fear is to confront it” is a quote we are all familiar with. But this isn’t always practical, especially when it comes to public speaking.

But now, virtual reality (VR) is looking to help people with their public speaking anxiety.

Banish your fear of public speaking with VR. Source: Shutterstock

Many companies are developing VR coaching programs to overcome the common fear. Such programs offer individuals the opportunity to face potentially daunting virtual scenarios in a safe environment in order to help battle their fear.

Here are three apps to help you on your journey to becoming a fearless and confident public speaker:

BeFearless

This VR program is designed by Samsung and offers five different scenarios: the job interview, a business lunch, a team meeting, management presentation, and a job fair. This app responds to your voice volume, speaking pace, eye contact, and heart rate- providing you with information on how to measure your progress.

Public Speaking VR

This VR app from Virtual Speech provides users with realistic environments such as a large conference hall filled with people (along with animated noise) in order to help them overcome their fear of public speaking. It even offers non-business scenarios such as a wedding room scene for practicing the much-anticipated wedding speech!

Speech Center for VR

Cerevrum Inc’s Speech Center VR provides users with a variety of interactive lessons with virtual coaches, with the goal of gradually diminishing the users fear through different stages. For example, the course ‘Handling distractions during a speech’ consists of five different sessions with possible scenarios that could happen.