Got stage fright? Here’s how VR is being used to make one confident at public speaking.

“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.” -Sir George Jessel

The feeling of standing in front of your co-workers in a big conference hall with a round table to give a presentation, is all too familiar. Sweaty palms and feet, legs trembling and voice cracking. Stage fright or fear of public speaking is a very common feeling experienced by a lot of employees in a workplace. Public speaking as a skill is useful to have which uses other soft skills like confidence, leadership and communication skills.  Public speaking is used in workplaces in various situations like sales pitches, presentations, meetings, and is now rising in the remote work arena in a different manner as well. Public speaking is an important skill to have in order to be efficient at your work. Public speaking has gained more importance over time, so much so that now there are even diplomas and  degrees in order to prepare individuals for this skill.

Virtual reality is making use of exposure therapy in a variety of ways to help people overcome phobias and a range of mental health disorders. VR exposure therapy is also making a mark to help users overcome their fear of public speaking. By having employees experience public speaking simulations in order to get ‘exposed’ and used to public speaking In work environments, it is essential to have confidence in order to effectively deliver and sell an idea of value. But getting the courage to stand in front of highly intellectual peers and giving presentations can be a nerve wracking experience for many.

VR scenarios for public speaking

Virtual Reality scenarios consist of 360° videos featuring real life actors that are filmed beforehand. For scenarios to help with public speaking, the actors would be surrounding a conference table and responding to all speech and body mannerisms of the user. One such popular simulation goes by the name ‘Ovation’ which uses 3D characters and gives users the mobility and freedom to even use it remotely. Crafted by Marshall in New Jersey with the help of a 5 person team, this simulation includes various settings like a courtroom, classroom, meeting rooms in a high rise building, etc. The audience members of the conference table involve people coming from all walks of life and with detailed interactive actions and reactions.

But how is this helpful? 

–   Mind and body memory

Since the mind and body register a virtual reality experience as real and life like, practicing speeches and public speaking scenarios multiple times in VR can help gain confidence and remember the simulation as a real milestone that you have accomplished in your public speaking journey.

–   Mistake proof alternative environment

VR simulations can help get over the nerves of standing in front of a large crowd and uttering the wrong words. The advantage this has for the user is that they can get over the pressure of being perfect and get out of their comfort zone by moving on quickly. This gives the user confidence to deal with such a situation when or if it occurs in real life. The user can learn how to manoeuvre through their mistake by cracking a joke, or simply apologizing and moving forward with the same confidence.

–   Multiple chances and evaluations with feedbacks

By going through training scenarios multiple times, individuals can be fluent in their speeches and body language which can translate to their performance at work. With the technology provided by Virtual Reality headsets, speech of the individual can be recorded and evaluated. This also goes for their body reactions like heart rate and eye movements. The user and L&D leaders likewise can monitor and evaluate this to see progress of the individual employee as well as provide useful feedback for their growth in the future practices.

Along with traditional practices like, speaking in front of a mirror, recording videos and audios on cell phones, as well as practicing in front of friends and co-workers, VRET for public speaking is a new spin to add to the practice and building of a good public speaker. With enough practice and feedback, the most nervous people have come to be confident and fluent in their communication skills and won the hearts of many at their conference meeting. 

YesVR is a passionate team that caters to your training needs. Reach out to get a free trial  and find out how you can help your employees be a more confident speaker.

Written by Simran Singh

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