Public speaking. For over a quarter of Americans, it ranks just below reptiles but above spiders and heights when it comes to the things they fear most. These figures are mirrored all over the world, but when you’re building your socent, the need is hard to avoid from time to time. How else will you impress complete strangers with your vision, and make the impact you dream of, after all? Fortunately, you don’t need an elocutionist to get you walking and talking tall in front of a crowd – just use your smartphone to train you instead. We’ve done a bit of digging to help you pitch and present like a pro: banish glossophobia with these essential public speaking apps.
Practice may make perfect, but virtual reality (VR) makes it fun. Paired with a Google Cardboard or Gear VR headset, the Virtual Speech app allows you to simulate the experience of presenting to audiences big and small in a number of different 360 degree environments ranging from classrooms to boardrooms, conference venues and more. You can practice your interview technique, load in any slides you might be using, and even monitor your speech as you practice to annunciate with ease.
Your palms are sweaty, your stomach’s full of butterflies and your legs are made of jelly – when it comes to presenting, a few nerves are normal but they needn’t throw you off your game. Bring a sense of calm to preparations with hypnotherapist David Ridgeway’s Confident Public Speaking Now. Preferable to picturing your audience in their underwear, it features 10 minutes of self-hypnosis and guided meditation to get you back on track.
Forget flash cards, Prompster turns your mobile into a digital teleprompter so you can reel off your spiel like a seasoned TV broadcaster. This clever wee app enables you to import .txt files from Dropbox, copy and paste from email or create documents within the app. Plus you can set your scrolling speed, quickly move between different sections, opt for mirror or reverse text and track your time as you speak.
Seeking something even more high tech? PromptSmart Pro for iOS takes the theme one step further. With speech recognition technology, it auto-adjusts text speed to your speaking pace and holds your place when you go off script.
Likeso ( iOS )
Stop ‘likes’, ‘sos’ and ‘ums’ from crushing your credibility with Likeso. Using voice recognition technology, this app analyses your words and pacing in real time – awarding you a score from ‘A+’ to ‘uh-oh’ and training you out of poor oratory habits.
Speakerclock ( iOS )
Inspired by the famous TED Talk timer, SpeakerClock’s big red digits let you see how you’re tracking and how much time you have left as you speak. It’s a really simple concept, but incredibly useful for ensuring a reasonable pace and staying within those all-important time constraints. The traffic light system helps you see when the end is near so you can hammer home key messages. And when your presentation’s over, simply tap the screen to stop.