When people tell you to “face your fears,” it’s usually a case of it being easier said than done. If your fear is something that can be faced in private, with a friend there for support, that’s one thing. But if public speaking is your greatest fear, then you might end up like Sweet Dee when she’s doing standup. And no one wants to see that happen. But what if you could face a crowd of people, without them actually being there?
No, I’m not talking about finding a bunch of cardboard cutouts to put in your living room. Instead, you can harness the power of VR to trick yourself into believing you’re standing in front of a few hundred people. Sure, it might get scary, but if you start dry heaving, no one is going to remember or heckle you.
To accomplish this, you could try out VirtualSpeech’s Public Speaking for Cardboard app. It’s a new app for your smartphone that works with Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR. The app is designed to make you feel as though you are standing on a stage in front of a bunch of people, or giving a presentation in a board room. The app is currently available for Android, and is in development for iOS.
Provided that they’ve recorded these scenarios with the same casual movements that you might see in a crowd, I completely believe that this could work for people who suffer from a fear of public speaking. After all, during one of my VR tests, I completely forgot that I was in a room by myself, instead of interacting with another person.
I’m loving this outside-the-box approach for VR. I wouldn’t have thought of something like this, but it makes perfect sense. If we can trick our senses into believing that we’re somewhere else, we can use that to overcome our fears.