When preparing for a public speech, practicing with an audience is suggested to be effective in enhancing speech performance. However, it is often impractical to organize an audience to practice a presentation. Virtual reality can provide a solution, i.e., practicing with a virtual audience. This paper studied this practicing technique for enhancing speech performance and people’s training satisfaction. A randomized controlled trial (n = 40) was conducted to compare practicing in front of a virtual audience with another practicing technique whereby the presenter had to imagine an audience while practicing. Individuals practiced their presentations in three training sessions with either a virtual audience or an imaginary audience. Participants’ performance was assessed in an assessment session where they delivered their speech in front of a human audience. The results showed that individuals seemed to benefit more from a virtual audience than an imaginary audience in reducing speech anxiety. The clearest benefit of practicing with a virtual audience was the satisfaction it gave. Participants were more positive towards training with a virtual audience regarding both the training process and its effect on their presentation ability. We anticipate that virtual audiences can be beneficial in motivating individuals to practice their presentation skills.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||annual review of cybertherapy and telemedicine|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
- Public speaking training
- Virtual audience
- speech performance
- intelligent virtual agents
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Public speaking training in front of an imaginary or virtual audience: A randomized controlled trial - extended