Improve your Presentation Skills with VR

September 06, 2017 - DOM BARNARD

In today’s business environment, you must have good presentation skills to be successful. We live in a world of meetings, presentations and conferences, in which a clear and assertive presentation can get you a promotion, fund your idea or secure a contract.

Presenting information clearly and concisely is the key to getting your message across. However, most people feel terrified when asked to speak in public. Through practice and preparation, you’ll become more confident in your presentation skills and find yourself being less nervous.

We’ll explain why virtual reality is the perfect tool to increase your confidence and improve your presentation skills.

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person is immersed within this environment, giving the impression that the person is really there, and can perform a series of actions within this virtual world.

VR headset to practice your presentation with.

Put on a VR headset to immerse yourself in the virtual world and improve your presentation skills.

We’re using virtual reality (VR) to immerse people in different realistic presentation styled environments, where they can practice and perfect their skills.

Read our complete guide to virtual reality.

Practice in the safety of your own home

Practice your presentation from the safety of your own home

Give a TED talk in front of hundreds of people, deliver a speech at a wedding, teach a room full of students - all from the safety of your own home. By practicing your presentation skills in virtual reality, you’ll build up a positive visualization in your mind of you delivering a great presentation.

Plenty of studies have proven the effectiveness of positive visualization. When we imagine a positive outcome to a scenario in our mind, it's more likely to play out the way we envision. Instead of thinking "I’m going to completely forget what to say on stage", use VR to visualise yourself delivering an inspiring speech with great enthusiasm.

Practice with your own slides

With the VirtualSpeech app, you can add your own presentation slides into the virtual room with you, so that you can practice for an upcoming event. Simply save your presentation as a PDF document and add it to the app - you can change the slides in the virtual world by pressing your VR headset trigger.

Add presentation slides to the virtual meeting or conference room.

Add your own slides to the virtual meeting or conference room to practice with.

Poor delivery and timing are the most common problems people have when they make a presentation. Being able to time what you say, at the correct point in your speech, with the right presentation slide, are important skills and require you to know your content well.

Practicing your timing in the virtual world will make you much more confident when delivering the speech for real. You can even try out several different ways of delivering the same material and decide which sounds better.

Speakers that practice come across as confident, and avoid the “umms” and uncomfortable silences that detract from the message. Knowing your slides and practicing your delivery with them, will help keep the presentation within a reasonable timeframe. Audiences appreciate presentations that make the point clear and concise.

Instant feedback on your presentation

Using our speech-to-text technology, you can receive instant feedback on the pace of your voice, any hesitation words used, eye-contact and more.

Feedback on your speech using speech-to-text technology

Feedback includes:

  • Hesitation words: gives the number of hesitation words used out of the total number of words in your speech
  • Eye contact: gives you a score out of 10, related to how long you were giving eye contact to the virtual avatars
  • Pace of voice: gives you a rating and words per minute you can use to improve your next speech

Listen back to presentations

One of the best ways to improve your presentation skills is to listen back to your own speeches. Once you’ve delivered a speech with the VirtualSpeech app, you have the option to save your speech and listen back to it at any time in the future. When listening back to it:

  • Listen for timing of deep breaths - when we're nervous, our muscles tighten and we take shallow breaths - you may even hold your breath as you try and get all the information out at once. Instead, take deep breaths to relax your body and expand your vocal range.
  • Listen for timing of pauses - When you're nervous, you might speed up your presentation and end up talking too fast, which in turn causes you to run out of breath. Don't be afraid to slow down and use pauses in your speech. Pausing can be used to emphasise certain points and give you time to think about what to say next. This is particularly useful when answering questions after a presentation. If you feel yourself losing control of your pacing, just take a nice pause and keep cool.

Practice deep breaths and pauses using VR to get you ready for the real event.

Track your progress

Track eye contact, hesitation words, speech length and more - you’ll be able to analyse how you’re improving these metrics over time.

Track your presentation progress in our stats room

Variety of presentation rooms

Need to prepare for a team meeting? Presenting at a conference? Giving a TED talk? VR can immerse you in a variety of rooms to suit your needs and improve your skills for the correct type of event. The more adjusted to your environment you are, the more comfortable you'll feel.

With VR, you can spend time in a similar room to where you’ll be delivering your presentation. You’ll be able to practice with a realistic audience, sound (audience and environmental), lighting distractions and even audio feedback like you’d get with a microphone.

Our presentation rooms include:

  • TED styled theatre
  • Classroom
  • Meeting rooms
  • Conference room
  • Press and media styled room
  • Wedding / occasions room
  • Networking room

Gamification

Eye contact, distractions and impromptu speeches can all be improved in a fun and engaging way. We’ve build mini-courses to help you learn the essentials of presentation skills, including:

Gamification of presentation skills - eye contact example
  • Eye contact training - Ace your eye contact skills and connect with the audience more than ever before. Our VR training will show you a heatmap of where you're looking in the audience and where you should shift your focus to, so that your speech has a greater impact.
  • Sound and visual distractions - Successful speeches require focus and it's easy to get distracted. Learn how to deal with various sound and visual distractions, including mobiles phones ringing, audio feedback from speakers and flare lighting, so that you'll look like an expert in no time!
  • Impromptu speaking - Didn't have time to prepare for your speech? No problem! Our fun game lets you practice quick-thinking by talking about a series of random slides for 30 seconds each. You'll be able to give speeches at short notice and answer questions more easily with this brain training.
  • Speech insight - Use cutting-edge technology to receive feedback on 15 different areas of your speech such as persuasiveness, aggression, and openness. You'll be a lot more prepared for the real thing knowing how your audience are likely to perceive you.

Practice as often as you like

You'll want to rehearse your presentation multiple times - it’s essential if you want to deliver a great presentation. However, it’s hard to improve without actually presenting to an audience. With VR, you can practice in a realistic way as often as you like - whether it be ten or a hundred times. This is a great way to build confidence in your presentation abilities.

Some leading public speakers suggest rehearsing lines in various positions and in different orders - this will ensure you don’t just memorise the speech line for line and can handle unforeseen distractions.

The more you mix up your presentation and setting, the more comfortable you'll feel with your speech. With the mobile VR headset, you can practice in various rooms of your house, or even in the office.

Watch speaking tips

Watch presentation tips in a distraction free lounge or bedroom.

Watch presentation tips in our media VR room

Watch communication and presentations tips in our media room.

Video tips include:

  • 4 essential body language techniques
  • Speak so that people listen
  • 5 basic public speaking tips
  • How to start a speech
  • 7 unique tips for communication
  • 10 ways to speak with confidence
  • TED’s secret to great public speaking
  • Overcome your fear of speaking

Start improving your presentation skills today with our public speaking course integrated with VR.