Become an Effective Public Speaker

September 3, 2016

In today’s business environment you must be an effective public speaker to be successful. Clear and confident communication can help with promotion, gain support for a project, secure business and persuade groups of people of your idea. It has become more important than ever to be an effective public speaker.

Stressful environments, including presenting to large crowds, cause the body to tense up. Adrenalin is released and all non-essential functions, such as speaking, suffer as a consequence. The key is practising in a realistic environment so that you are prepared and feel relaxed, ensuring you deliver your speech with confidence whether it is in front of a large crowd or a small board room.

Current Methods of Practice are not satisfactory

  • Practice in front of a mirror – this demands you focus on two separate activities, the presenting and you watching yourself. This can be very distracting.
  • Speak in front of friends – this can be useful as you can get good feedback from a colleague. However, they may not be willing to give hours of their time which is required to give a confident speech.

How can VirtualSpeech Help?

  1. The VirtualSpeech app, Public Speaking VR, allows you to practice on your own in a photo-realistic environment (requires a Virtual Reality headset)
  2. Experience a real life audience to prepare you for inevitable distractions at real events
  3. Practice your speaking skills until you become an expert public speaker
Public speaking practice in VR conference room with VirtualSpeech app

Public Speaking VR in-app screenshot. The left and right eye images make the environment look 3D within the virtual reality headset.

Prepare with your own slides in the VirtualSpeech app

Load in your own slides which appear in the virtual environment with you

For Android

For iPhone

  • Connect your mobile to your computer
  • Open iTunes and select your device
  • Click on ‘apps’ and navigate to the bottom
  • Add your images as .jpg or .png to the Virtual Speech File Sharing folder
  • Watch this video for the process:

Select a suitable training room

Put on your VR headset, such as Google Cardboard, and select a suitable room to practice in from the Public Speaking VR app menu (shown below)

The app offers a choice of both large and small conference rooms, with new environments on the way shortly

Main menu in Public Speaking VR app

Select an environment to present in, from a large conference room to a smaller meeting room. More environments are being added frequently.

Public speaking and communication training in VR meeting room with VirtualSpeech app

A small meeting room to practice your presentation skills in.

Additional Tips

Think before you speak

Often we talk while we think. We think that filling the silence with noise gives us credibility. It actually has the opposite effect as what we say in these seconds adds nothing to the point you are trying to make. This takes away from your credibility rather than reinforcing it. Express your message as clearly as possible, and don’t be afraid to leave a silence, it can often add emphasis to your point. A good formula, from RADA skills training is:

  1. Think
  2. Breathe
  3. Speak

Posture and Delivery

Posture and a relaxed body are extremely important for public speaking and communication as they give a perception of dominance and authority. The following three points shows your effect on others:

  • Content – 7%
  • Voice – 37%
  • Body – 56%

A good posture opens up your rib cage and lungs so that you can communicate your points clearly. Deep breaths and full lungs maximise your voice and consequently your influence. Keep your shoulders back and your back straight, with your feet in line with your shoulders, this will allow you to command the environment you are speaking in.

Importance of good posture when presenting

Use these tips combined with others from the VirtualSpeech blog.