New advances in technology can now help people with all sorts of problems that traditionally required the services of a professional coach or therapist. There are apps for everything from weight loss and diet to sleep issues. Some of the most interesting, however, claim to be able to help with serious psychological conditions like anxiety and phobias.
Treatment for phobias can be expensive. A course of hypnotherapy for fear of public speaking is by far the most effective treatment, but it can cost between $1500 and $3000 for a top therapist. For those that can’t afford this, virtual reality has been shown to improve performance over time.
Virtual reality (VR) allows a user to enter a simulated environment and interact with it. It is used for interactive entertainment and nowadays a VR accessory kit is available for little more than $100 to turn a simple smartphone into a complete virtual reality system.
Through VR, patients can face their fears in a simulated environment and it is only recently that this became a possible treatment method. Patients can adjust these simulations to help them learn to cope with different situations. It also helps them get used to people looking at them.
Using virtual reality to help those with traumas was first raised in a 1994 study entitled “Virtual Environment and Psychological Disorders.” The psychologists behind the paper, Max and Sarah North, listed down how VR can help patients overcome their phobia. It can also provide alternatives for patients who do not want to face their fears head on. The paper triggered new studies and tests to see if it is possible. These studies and tests all report positive results from patients who have taken part in the tests.
VR Apps That Can Help You Out
If you are planning to use VR to improve your fear of public speaking, there are a lot of apps to choose from. You will need to get a VR eyepiece and headphones to use the app. Of course, like other apps, you need to check if the app can do what it promises.
To get you started, here are some of the best VR apps on the market today which can help you overcome your fear in public speaking.
#BeFearless – Free
If you have a Samsung Gear VR or Oculus Go, “#BeFearless: Fear of Public Speaking – Business Life” is a good place to start.
This app is designed to help you get used to public speaking in five different scenarios you may face at work. These scenarios include business lunch, management presentations, job interview, team meeting and job fair. The app will register your voice, speaking speed, eye contact and heart rate if you sync it with Gear S.
The data will give you an idea on how you can improve your responses. It will also help you get used to these scenarios since the app will adjust your “audience’s” reaction when you do a certain nuance.
If you would like a virtual reality simulation that will simulate a real public speaking situation, Virtual Speech is the perfect app to get.
The app is available for free on Android and iOS and paid if you want in-person training. It features high quality settings to give you a feeling that you are really before a live audience. It even has actual noise distractions, which can throw you off like a real scenario.
The app is also adjustable to help you get used to all audience sizes. This is perfect if you wish to practice for a presentation or a get together. You will even be given props to help you practice for the real thing. The audience will also react during your performance and the app will also let you record your speeches. A voice analysis and feedback will also be given for every performance for you to review.
Speech Centre VR
Want to train yourself in overcoming distractions when speaking? The Speech Centre VR will work well for your practice.
The app can be used with Samsung Gear VR and Daydream kits. It will let you practice in various scenarios where certain distractions can occur. Users can pick from 12 different scenarios and you can even time yourself during each attempt. It even comes with special exercises like tongue twisters to help you if you have speech problems.
Virtual Orator is another app that can help overcome your fear of speaking in front of people. Like other VR apps, it will let you choose various scenarios and adjust how many people are watching you. The app will create the right effects to give you a real scenario and the audience will also react if you make a mistake. They will also ask questions depending on the topic you selected.
Users can also record the practice so they can review it at their own pleasure. The app is available for any Windows PC running on Windows 8.1 to 10.
Public Speaking Simulator VR
If you want a simple VR app to get you over your fear in public speaking, this is the app to get.
This app is available for iOS, Android and Oculus and helps people get used to a crowd. The visual graphics is very simple, but the AI will react throughout your speech. Some of them won’t even listen to you.
It is normal response for us to be anxious when facing one of our greatest fears. But, if we cannot find ways to overcome it, our fear could paralyze us completely when it catches us off-guard. Technology has a lot of potential to help us overcome our fear. Through VR therapy, patients can face their fears in a simulated environment and it is only recently that this became a possible treatment method. So, if you cannot find someone to help you professionally then make the most of the available tech. With the right apps and gear, you will eventually be able to face your fears, even in the comfort of your own home.