Some find speaking in public difficult, anxiety-inducing, demanding, and some would even say that they would rather die than speak in front of others. And some don't.
Some exude a charm and confidence that capture the full attention of their audience. What is it that makes a person be able to shine in the spotlight?
The secret to the latter group is simply practice.
Practice builds muscle memory and confidence.
Practice makes perfect.
SPEACH, an app that breaks down the fundamentals of speaking into six digestible categories and allows you to practice and receive feedback away from the spotlight.
SPEACH utilizes various exercises that target different aspects of speaking. These include:
Avoiding the use of thinking sounds/filler words
Proper utilization of silences and pauses
Controlling the speed of which you speak
Being aware of the volume of your voice
Developing different tones of voices
SPEACH encourages daily practice, with the option of setting short term and long term goals. Users will be able to practice their own speeches by inputting it directly into SPEACH.
DESIGN PROCESS & ARTIFACTS OF DESIGN
In our discovery phase, we interviewed people who were comfortable with public speaking and people who were scared to death of it. The insights that we uncovered helped us define a feature set that would encourage continued use and regular practice.
Features of SPEACH
When we get feedback, we often see it as a threat and respond defensively or just avoid getting feedback all together.
But the truth is without feedback, people will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.
The feedback feature allows to the user to playback their completed exercise to hear themselves practicing. This gives them the opportunity to be more critical of themselves and makes them more comfortable hearing the sound of their own voice.
Metrics, such as volume, speed, etc., will be provided to the users to see where there is room for improvement.
All this in the comfort of their own privacy.
2. Daily Goals
Seeing progress trending upwards feels good and we wanted to use that feeling to form a new habit with our users.
Daily, reachable goals help keep the momentum going towards the true goal of not being afraid of speaking to an audience.
Users can set daily, reachable goals even if it's only 10mins per day. SPEACH encourages users to continue to put in the work, by sending friendly reminders.
Sure you can now talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
Understanding conceptually is important, but it isn’t the same as being able to go out there and execute it to perfection.
While practicing the fundamentals is key to getting better, users want to see if all that practice pays off.
User will be able to upload their own speeches into the app to practice and get feedback beyond SPEACH exercises.
A little competition never hurt anyone.
People not only perform better, but they learn better if the stakes are low and the motivation is not just to win, but also to achieve mastery.
With the weekly leader board, users can compete with friends to see who has practiced the most.
Upon the completion of an exercise, users will collect points in the form of time.
Exercises of SPEACH
The exercises we wanted our users to practice are singularly-focused on different aspects of speech and will help build a strong foundation that will give them the knowledge and confidence to get over their fear of public speaking.
We developed a user persona based on the insights we gathered from preliminary research and informal interviews:
Those who want to get better at public speaking tend to avoid situations that will help them do exactly that.
They have a fear of putting themselves out in front of others.
They lack the formal knowledge of what it takes to be a first-rate speaker.
They also lack the experience necessary to understand their shortcomings and what it means to get to that next level.
We weren't the first to see that this is a need for people. There are a good deal of other resources (other apps, tutorials, books, classes, inspirational videos, etc.) to help people get more comfortable with speaking in public.
To differentiate ourselves from them:
We gamified SPEACH to encourage continual user participation
We included simple exercises plus a rehearsal feature that gives both qualitative and quantitative feedback
We especially wanted to make sure that our users could practice alone in their comfort zone until they gain the skills and confidence to go speak in public.
Selected Annotated Screens
Public Speaking is like any other skill, to master it you have to practice on a consistent basis.
Get your reps in, out of the public eye, then you'll be ready to go when it's time.
Lynn and I came up with the concept of turning the different facets of talking into games.
Lynn created the logo, iconography, chose the color palette, and chose the typeface with the help of my feedback.
I then brought the designs over to Sketch and Principle to bring our idea to life.
Lynn and I shot footage and edited our explainer video in Final Cut Pro.