Philadelphia, PA – Great news to all of you stutterers and fantasizers of audiences in underwear! A hero has just been created, and better yet it will be by your side, in your back pocket or even in the bathroom with you whenever you need it. VirtuReal is an app meant to act as a personal public speaking coach and was created by Kristen Newman and Tapiwanashe Ndlovu, two Drexel students who were compelled to help their peers say what was on their minds.
When it comes to expression in front of audiences, the two have had very different experiences. While Ndlovu said he was always pretty good in front of an audience and was often commended on his ability to speak, Newman said she suffered greatly when she was told to speak in front of people.
“I went on a podium in front of 200 people, I couldn’t talk and my legs started shaking,” said Newman. “Later on I asked myself what I could’ve done to prevent that.”
This is when the idea for a public speaking app came into existence. The app will be used to help any and every one prepare for speeches whether they be at graduations or weddings. The idea is that generations will be able to master one of the most difficult skills known to mankind – expressing your thoughts.
“If you can’t articulate your ideas it’s of no use at all,” Ndlovu said.
The original idea for the app was to be a virtual reality program where it gave you an audience to speak in front of, however the concept has since changed.
VirtuReal will ask you to connect with an email account. From there all you have to do is set a timer and start.
“You say whatever you need to say and it gives you feedback on the fundamentals of sounds,” Ndlovu said.
When the time ends the app will rate the effectiveness of the speech using measures like pitch, speed and usage of words. Based on each category the app will give user feedback and offer tips for the user to improve his or her speech.
In addition to feedback from the app itself, there will also be an option to share the speech on social media to get peer feedback.
Although she comes from a family of entrepreneurs, Newman said she hadn’t imagined herself creating her own company, especially one based off of an app.
“In my junior year I thought I was going into music and by senior year it changed,” said Newman. “I had this lineage of people running their own companies but I never saw myself doing that. I never saw it happening.”
Ndlovu felt the same way but is happy to be a part of the business.
“You worry more about getting a job than creating a job for yourself,” Ndlovu said.
In preparation for the launch of the app, the VirtuReal LLC is offering free public speaking coaching sessions for all Philadelphia college students
A new generation is emerging, and it may consist of the best speakers you’ve ever heard.