How virtual reality supports performance skills

How effective is Virtual Reality Public Speaking Training (VRPST) compared to conventional preparation for oral presentations? Researchers from BFH and the University of Bern investigated this question in a study. A total of 42 participants were randomly divided into two groups to test the effectiveness of VRPST on the quality of presentations. They were also interested in the extent to which users accept this technology

Speaking in public is a fundamental task in many professional or private situations. At the same time, fear of it is widespread and it takes practice to present well. Previous studies suggest that Virtual Reality Public Speaking Training (VRPST) offers a promising opportunity for this. However, studies evaluating objective and subjective indicators are lacking and there is a lack of valid control conditions in previous studies. Our aim was to overcome these drawbacks. In our experiment, participants (N = 42) had the task of presenting a card game to an audience of four using five given PowerPoint slides within a time limit of 5 minutes. They prepared either with VRPST or with the usual self-directed preparation (control condition), whereby they were randomly assigned to a condition. Both groups were instructed to prepare for the task at home and were given 30 minutes to learn the rules of the game and present them using the slides. The control group was given an additional 30 minutes to prepare individually for the presentation task at home. The experimental group received an additional 30-minute VRPST session. This training session was conducted without specific feedback and the presentation was repeated three times. The quality of the rule explanation, the presentation quality as assessed by the audience and the presentation quality as assessed by the participants themselves were measured. Our results show that the VRPST is effective. The test subjects who completed the VRPST explained the rules better and were better presenters

The importance of presentation skills

Public speaking is a fundamental skill in many professional and personal situations. However, it can be a significant challenge and cause anxiety. In fact, around 20 per cent of people suffer from anxiety about it, making it the most common form of social anxiety

VRPST as a promising solution

VRPST offers a promising solution for overcoming public speaking anxiety and improving presentation skills. Previous studies have achieved positive results, but lacked valid control conditions and a comprehensive assessment of objective and subjective indicators

Advantages of VR training

VR training provides realistic training situations where participants can perform in front of a simulated audience. This enables repeated practice in a safe environment and reduces the fear of public speaking. It also increases participants’ motivation and self-confidence

Results and potential of VRPST

The results of this study indicate that VRPST is effective. The participants with VRPST performed better in the presentation than those in the control group without VRPST. The group with the training was also better at recalling facts. In addition, the acceptance of VRPST was high, meaning that participants would use VRPST if it were available

Overall, this study emphasises the potential of VRPST as a promising option for schools, universities and companies

The full study “Virtual reality public speaking training: effectiveness and user technology acceptance” by ManuelBachmann1* AbimanjuSubramaniam2 Jonas Born1David Weibel2 can befound here.

Creative Commons Licence

AUTHOR: Manuel Bachmann

Prof. Dr Manuel David Bachmann is a lecturer and heads the Virtual Reality Lab at the Department of Social Work at BFH. He is involved with virtual reality in research and teaching as well as in social work practice.

Create PDF

Related Posts

None found

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *