Train your presenting skills in Virtual Reality

Hayo Rubingh

The current COVID-19 pandemic has a huge social impact, we work from home and communicate with each other in a more digital way then before. This rare and difficult situation also brings a lot of creativity, e.g. new online collaborative tools are launched, and we experience new ways to connect since we are not allowed to meet face to face anymore. Distance learning for example really fits in, as we are already familiar with online courses nowadays. With virtual reality we can improve the experience even further, read more about our VR training solution in this blog post.

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Talking about modern learning, VR really fits in. It allows us to explore & learn in a different way. In his blogpost, Julian Todd discusses a framework for learning using VR. As he states “VR scenarios enable us to manipulate the world around us (or even other worlds), in ways that transcend reality: consider ‘Physics and Space’, ‘Problem Solving and Creativity’, and ‘Rehearsal and Prototype’. In VR worlds things like friction, weight, and mass, become a matter of choice, not of fact. We can creatively interact without risk or impact.”

Besides, for us the starting point to create a VR learning studio was the practical challenge to execute class-room training for a lot of our colleagues. Also consider, when training your presentation skills, analyzing recorded videos is although an effective methodology, a lot of companies have sufficient facilitators across the globe to deliver a two-day classroom session. So we designed a solution that builds the capability (using reflective learning methodology) and at the same time doesn’t take much time to use.

Virtual Reality & AI

We decided to create a cost-effective solution using a VR based simulation environment, where people gain the knowledge of how to present and also enjoy the opportunity to present in a non-threatening environment. Using an HTC Vive, Oculus Quest or Android Mobile device you can learn presenting in a safe environment like your own home for example.

Another great advantage of using these devices is that we are able to provide instant feedback on about 20 parameters around presentation skills and even storytelling skill using natural language processing (NLP).

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So how does this work in practice? After putting on the VR headset and (optional) upload your own PowerPoint presentation the application will take a sample of your voice as a baseline for further analysis. As a next step the student will enter a virtual meeting room where he starts presenting as you would expect in a real-life situation. During the presentation the application captures all kind of data like audio, speech and physical information like eye contact and the movement of your head. With this it can analyse for example if you’re looking at the audience and the different attendees.

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Other examples of presentation skill measurement are audio analysis – like volume and pitch and in depth speech analysis. This includes the speed of your voice, the amount of filler words (ehh ah so), your tone of voice and emotion. Voice emotion analysis – using cognitive cloud services – gives insights in your emotion flow during the presentation, e.g. neutral, happy, fear, stress, etc.

Train your presenting skills using VR in a safe environment like your own home

vr academy room

Storytelling analysis

Another interesting development is the ability to analyse your pronunciation. Determining words, phrases and sentences to conclude if you are telling a great story, convince the audience or formulate the right way. This sound like magic and – although in continuous development –does a good job using latest AI NLP services from Google. However, at the moment only available using a pre-defined presentation and in English.

The final verdict

When finishing your session results are displayed on a dashboard in the virtual world. The dashboard contains an overview of different parameters like speed of speech, use of meaningless words (or fillers), statistics like totals used words, time, volume, etcetera.

vr academy results

To conclude

Combining virtual reality with data analysis and AI services like NLP and voice emotion detection gives some great opportunities in self-study. Analysing soft skills without the hassle of classroom training or creating videos of your presentation skills which need to be analysed afterwards by a mentor. Our VR Academy gives real-time feedback in a safe environment, using advanced analytics and AI to give exact results, easy to retrain and keep improving on.

It is a great and fun VR experience, showing the power of todays AI capabilities and future way of modern learning possibilities.

Curious about our VR training solutions? Please contact Ankur Bhatt.