Exploring Feedback Learning Strategies to Improve Public Speaking: An Interactive Virtual Audience Framework

September 7, 2015 | Osaka, Japan

Speaker: Stefan Scherer
Host: 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2015)

Good public speaking skills convey strong and effective communication, which is critical in many professions and used in everyday life. The ability to speak publicly requires a lot of training and practice. Recent technological developments enable new approaches for public speaking training that allow users to practice in a safe and engaging environment. We explore feedback strategies for public speaking training that are based on an interactive virtual audience paradigm. We investigate three study conditions: (1) a non-interactive virtual audience (control condition), (2) direct visual feedback, and (3) nonverbal feedback from an interactive virtual audience. We perform a threefold evaluation based on self-assessment questionnaires, expert assessments, and two objectively annotated measures of eye-contact and avoidance of pause fillers. Our experiments show that the interactive virtual audience brings together the best of both worlds: increased engagement and challenge as well as improved public speaking skills as judged by experts.