Public speaking can feel pretty scary. According to the Chapman University Survey of American Fears released in 2015, more than 28 percent of U.S. adults are afraid or very afraid of being onstage. Overcoming that fear doesn’t have to involve biting your nails and feeling your heart rate soar. There is a surprising solution that can help you feel more comfortable taking the stage: virtual reality.
“I saw a very interesting use case that an organization is doing for [its employees] who have a fear of public speaking,” Chris Wissinger, video product manager at PSAV, said in a recent PCMA webinar on virtual reality and 360 video. “They’re using VR technology to train the people how to present in front of an audience.”
While some virtual-reality experiences are quite expensive, you don’t have to invest in a high-powered headset for the training. Instead, you can use Google Cardboard, the $15 introduction to the technology, and download the VirtualSpeech app, which offers a range of simulated environments including a large conference room with 300 attendees, a small meeting room with 15 people, and an interview setting with four panel members. The audience moves and talks, too, to create the typical feelings of distraction associated with a real meeting.
Virtual reality can do more than enhance your career skills. The technology is also elevating the attendee experience as it appears at more conferences and trade shows. Check out Wissinger’s entire webinar, “Could 360/VR Be Your Most Powerful Medium?,” to understand what it takes to be successful with immersive video at your next event.