Public speaking. Some dread it, others naturally gifted at it, and there’s the select few who are so good at speaking, they can probably persuade and win over any audience. Not only that, but the skill of speechmaking is carried over into our professional lives. Whether delivering a presentation or gaining potential investors’ support, it’s safe to say that this skill comes in handy.
However, not everyone has a knack for it, and today we will be focusing on those who struggle and have manifested the fear of public speaking. And no, we won’t be telling you the same old passage of taking action and facing your fears head-on. Not everyone is that headstrong, nor is there always an opportunity like that.
Instead, what if we told you that with the technology today, there exists a method in which we can recreate the same experience and let you practice the process by yourself?
Its use has become widespread among niche individuals, and we expect to see its utilization to continue to grow. This medium is none other than virtual reality.
Why Virtual Reality?
As the name suggests, virtual reality takes you into a simulated digital world that lets you interact with your surroundings and express your creative side. In this virtual space, your imagination and how well you can utilize the emerging tech to suit your needs are the only limit. This opportunity makes it perfect for any creative endeavor and entertainment purposes like games and film.
However, that’s not where it ends, virtual reality also opens up a new medium for professionals, employees, and like-minded individuals to hone their skills and practice their craft. UPS is already making use of VR, letting their shipping and delivery truck drivers go through safety training inside the virtual world.
The same concept of training also branches out to today’s focus, public speaking. There are now plenty of VR apps that let you stand in front of an audience and practice your talking skills. From boardroom discussions to a large panel audience, you can slowly progress and work your way up to professional level public speaking.
Overcome Your Fears
While we do commend people who can face their public speaking fears head-on, this method isn’t for everyone. And in the case of virtual reality, it lets you overcome your worries gradually, and not through a one-time big event that could go either way. And yes, you could argue that talking in the mirror is a healthy practice, but it doesn’t simulate the same experience as a real listening audience can.
Practice makes perfect, and with the help of virtual reality, you can strap on your headset and recreate any scenario you’d wish to practice your speech. And if you do succumb to stage fright or stutter too often, then there’s no need to get worked up. You can easily take a break and give it how many tries you want until you get it right.
It gives you the option of gradual progression without having to ask for people to be your audience.
Constructive Criticism and Expert Feedback
Another great feature that you can benefit from is that some VR public speaking apps offer constructive criticism and expert feedback after your training sessions. From tone range to detecting eye movement and focus, and length of the speech, the application takes this data and gives you a standardized score. This overall score makes for an excellent benchmark to improve upon as you progress in your training and turns self-practices into actionable results.
And unlike traditional methods of improving public speaking skills, you wouldn’t need to enlist the help or assistance of a professional speaker. Plus, your results are often more objective and free from anyone else’s bias in speaking. Thus, giving you the freedom to develop your unique style.
Last but not least, to practice in virtual reality means that you are not limited to real-life resources. Your training sessions don’t have to remain inside your room or an open meeting hub at work. Instead, you can recreate scenarios and realistic venues at the click of a button. And at one moment, you could be in a business meeting but at another hosting your own Ted Talk.
To add, you can also control the number of audiences you’d want to listen to your speech. From a small room to a filled-out auditorium, the choice is yours to experiment with and practice. And you have all this access from the comfort of your couch or workplace, bearing in mind that you have your VR headset.
Overall, we think that utilizing VR for public speaking training is a fascinating idea and a step in the right direction. If you’re one of those struggling with public speaking fears, we strongly suggest you give virtual reality a chance. And while it doesn’t hurt to partake in traditional practice methods, welcoming innovative approaches will undoubtedly give you an edge in your career advancement.