How VR Helped My Anxiety and Public Speaking
As a kid growing up, I always had anxiety and to a certain extent, I still do in my adult life. Throughout my formative years, anxiety always had a murderer’s grip on my social behavior – especially when it came to public speaking. In an age of VR and interactive experiences I looked for an effective solution and found it in Public Speaking VR.
I remember being in elementary school and my speech therapist at the time thought it’d be a good idea to force me into doing the “morning show” which was just a daily closed circuit TV broadcast of kids announcing what was for lunch that day and other mundane messages. We sat in a panel with our script sheets in front of us, our attention fixed on the camera’s unblinking red eye.
When it came to my turn to speak, I remember the feeling of cold, prickly dread coming over me. I remember being frozen in overwhelming fear and helplessness and unable to get the words out of my mouth and when I did manage to get a word out, I’d uncontrollably stutter and stammer. My palms would be instantly covered with sweat. My breathing became completely stifled like I was suddenly thrown into space or forcibly submerged underwater. I could feel the other kids staring at me with horrified embarrassment as the seconds stretched into relative days “Inception”-style. I hated those mornings with a fury that was only matched by its misery.. I just wanted to be normal.
There was something wrong with my brain, I thought. The vocal fluency that everyone takes for granted was not something I was born with. It took me years to accept my speech impediment and regain some semblance of self-confidence to combat the fear of every social interaction.
There are over 70 million people worldwide who stutter and that amounts to about 1% of the population. Nobody knows what really causes it and there is no cure. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Stutterer or not, if you experience difficulty with speaking in public, whether it’s preparing for job interviews, boardroom meetings, classroom lectures or presentations, there is real hope in an extremely helpful virtual reality app called “Public Speaking VR.”
“Public Speaking VR” is an excellent therapeutic VR app that simulates a myriad of public speaking environments with living audiences and even realistic responses. Want to prepare for a job interview to Tesla Motors? Just choose the room and slip on your VR headset and instantly transport yourself in front of job interviewers. If you like, they can even ask you real questions too and there’s also a timer option so you can practice on your pacing.
Here’s what you’ll need to start using “Public Speaking VR” from VirtualSpeech:
- Your smartphone (If you have a newer smartphone, it should be able to support virtual reality apps)
- Any virtual reality cardboard compatible headset. Public SPeaking VR @ Google Play
- Alternatively you can also use an Oculus or Samsung Gear VR
Simply download “Public Speaking VR” from Google Play, pop your smartphone into your cardboard device and fire it up. It’s rated E for Everyone.
I used a Bobo VR Z4 headset and the cardboard compatible app for my demo. Try it for yourself and see how it can help you.
The main reason why this public speaking VR app is so advantageous is because it convincingly replicates the nerve-wracking experience of having to speak in public in immersive virtual reality from the people staring at you to the questions they ask. It beats sitting in your room and practicing in front of no one.
I wish I had “Public Speaking VR” when I was a kid. After using it for several weeks, I noticed that I became much more relaxed when speaking casually or professionally because it’s all about facing your fears. And this virtual reality app lets you face them over and over in safe personal comfort. You get the best of both worlds – the useful fear without the string of embarrassment and the chance to access the confidence you didn’t know you had inside of you all along.
For anyone scared of speaking in public, I urge you to try out the “Public Speaking” VR app. After all, practice makes perfect.