Are you scared of public speaking? How do you feel about trying to cure those fears by standing on stage of an auditorium with 1000 people staring at you? Perhaps counter intuitively, such a terrifying scenario may actually be one of the best ways to overcome Glossophobia or speech anxiety.
Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking and it has been estimated that 75% of all people experience some degree of anxiety/nervousness when it comes to public speaking.
Envision Media Partners has created a Virtual Reality app called The Master Communicator to help anyone overcome speech anxiety.
But, before we discuss the App, how important is the ability to communicate without fear in front of a group of people to the average person?
According to a study by sociologist, Andrew Zekeri, “Oral communication skills were the number one skill that college graduates found useful in the business world.” Communication skills enhance your ability to interact with professionals and fellow colleagues in a qualified and composed manner. Public speaking improves these skills and thus, makes you a more worthy candidate to move up and succeed in your chosen field.
Communication is the backbone of our society. It allows us to form connections, influence decisions, and motivate change. Without communication skills, the ability to progress in the working world and in life, itself, would be nearly impossible.
An important skill to have in business and especially in the public relations arena is the skill of persuasion or the ability to win over the crowd. Inside and outside the workplace, the power of persuasion can carry you far and it all starts by honing those public speaking skills. Mastering public speaking results in an increase in confidence and with that, a cool and collected presence in front of an audience. Of course it is imperative to be knowledgeable about the subject you are presenting, but beyond that, when making a persuasive speech of any kind, including a sales pitch to a client, you need to be prepared to answer the opposition, and to speak with poise. To make a strong case, the ability to speak publicly is not only important, but essential to make forward strides. For example, in order to express why a certain product or idea would be an interesting topic to an editor of a publication, one must use strong enough, convincing language to elicit intrigue and curiosity. A great pitch will persuade the consumer or editor to want to know more. When addressing any audience with an idea or argument for or against something, public speaking allows you to make your case compellingly and convincingly.
A great public speaker attains the power to motivate his or her audience to do something, stop doing something, change a behavior, or reach objectives. But to carry an idea forward, you must be able to excite and enliven your peers, employees, coworkers, customers. Public speakers are leaders who are able to inspire their audience to work harder to achieve their goals. As a public speaker, your role is to influence your listeners and create an environment where everyone walks out ready to roll. You are not merely giving a speech in the attempt to get your audience to take a certain action; speakers are part of the action and can convey their passion and drive. It is not enough to simply know about the issues at hand but to make your audience share your passion. Elections have been won simply because one candidate was a better public speaker than the other. Being knowledgeable is a factor, of course, but more importantly, being able to arouse passion in people through skilled public speaking will motivate your audience to make a move. When people talk about having a voice in the world, they mean having an impact on the world by voicing your thoughts and your knowledge in an exciting way. A mastery of public speaking allows you to relate to the audience and gain their trust. As a skilled public speaker, you become likeable and believable, and you will be able to inspire and even entertain the crowd.
The ability to inform is one of the most important aspects of public speaking. From presenting research papers and PowerPoint presentations in school to presenting ideas and pitches to your boss or client, informative public speaking is a vital component of a successful career across all work fields. Once you have their attention, a good informative speech sharing your knowledge of a subject with an audience, enhances their understanding and makes them remember your words long after you’ve finished. For example, you might be asked to instruct a group of coworkers on how to use new computer software or to address your employees on company happenings. Whether it is giving demonstrations or sharing an area of expertise, this form of public speaking is an essential skill in today’s world.
The Master Communicator App is a virtual reality tool created to help people overcome their fear of public speaking and turn them into incredible communicators.
The “Master Communicator” VR experience involves a hyper-realistic simulation in which individuals find themselves on the stage of an auditorium filled with a thousand seated people right in front of them. To the right and left are teleprompters pre-loaded with the speech or presentation the person must deliver in the next couple weeks to a real group of this size. There is a timer on the stage floor and everything about what he or she sees and feels, the brain cognates as being real. That same fear of being in front of the large audience is felt in the same way as the real thing. As the user begins to read the teleprompter the app’s AI scrolls the text just like in the real world.
Using the Master Communicator over and over gradually helps the user overcomes a specific fear — in this case the fear of public speaking — by tapping into the user’s deep seated fear of public speaking we challenge it through a repetitive experience delivered in our critical mental receptors. The app scores metrics that are measured which include eye movement, heartbeat, perspiration, skin temperature and speech patterns. These stress parameters allow the user to safely push to their limits and overcome their fear of public speaking over a period of time. The system is gamified which lets them try and improve on their previous numbers.
Along with the Auditorium setting; the app will offer other environments including, a Board Room, a Meeting Hall and an interview setting.
There haven’t been any clinical trials yet to prove its effectiveness, however, transactional analysis theory, which is what the technology is based on, has been applied for many years to treat various phobias. The Master Communicator is currently in the Beta Testing phase but is already showing possibilities that open up when VR is used to challenge people’s inner most fears.
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