Public speaking is scary and long before you get up to speak in front of people, the anxiety of having to do so cripples you. Seasoned public speakers will give you varied advice; practice in front of a mirror, picture yourself talking to an audience that came to hear you speak in their birthday suits, chew gum, etc. If your nerves are still getting the best of you, try speaking in front of a virtual audience on a virtual stage. Public Speaking for Cardboard is an Android app that you can use with your VR headset to simulate a stage or conference room for you to practice a presentation or speech in. The app is meant to work with Google Cardboard but will work fine with any other VR headset.
A small word of caution here; the app is a developer preview so not everything is working. You can sign up to be notified when the the stable app comes out with features for uploading your own slides when you present. For now, you have a virtual audience. SImply launch the app and insert your phone into the VR headset. Use the on-screen navigation tool and your head movements to select one of the two environments. When you first enter an environment, you will have the option to turn off the animated audience. If you choose to not do so, the option will disappear after a while and there isn’t any way to get it back without restarting the simulation.
Start speaking. The room will start you out with a small audience that will fidget pretty often. It will then fill up. With your VR headset on, start practicing. You’re free to move around on your ‘stage’ as you talk.
The concept is certainly excellent and shows how VR is more than just another gaming platform.