Two main things drove Debra Cancro to create her edtech startup VoiceVibes, she explained to nibletz.com at EDUCAUSE in Philadelphia.
The first thing, seems only natural for an engineer. Cancro explained that when she started pitching products she was nervous, jittery and speaking more like an engineer than someone trying to explain an innovative new product. She told us that, after her first presentation, her boss had to pull her aside and talk with her about her presentation skills.
That’s an issue that millions of people experience in the world today. Nerves, technical speak and the desire to get out of the spotlight as quick as possible can hinder an important message.
VoiceVibes is an online platform that helps higher ed students develop themselves as public speakers in the privacy of their own homes or even dorm rooms.
Cancro and her team of PhD engineers developed the platform to be as easy to use as possible. Users can upload the audio of their speech, presentation or even a video, to the platform in a variety of ways. They can record themselves on the VoiceVibes mobile app, directly on their website or by uploading a file. Users can even scrape the audio off of a video.
Once the audio is recorded or uploaded, VoiceVibes gets to work analyzing over 20 key points, or Vibes as they call them, in public speaking. Timing, pausing, using crutch words like “um or uhh”, clarity and more are analyzed by the system. Users can see their results on the VoiceVibes dashboard. They can practice, resubmit and get another analyzation.
In a classroom setting the instructor can have access to analytics across the entire class. This way they can monitor and help students that need improvement. They can also see how much time each student is spending on their oral presentations.
VoiceVibes is ideal for just about any student. Most students don’t realize how important speaking skills are. Students who’ve chosen careers that involve speaking to groups would naturally benefit from VoiceVibes, but even engineering students may find themselves delivering presentations after they enter the workforce. But even if you aren’t destined to deliver presentations VoiceVibes may still prove useful.
The other thing that drove Cancro to creating VoiceVibes was more personal in nature. She explained, in the video above, that she took a few years off to be at home with her kids. “I found that I spoke to them sometime in a very condescending tone… I felt like I was doing more harm than good”.
VoiceVibes can help people learn to speak more effectively in public and at home.
Check out our interview video above and to check out VoiceVibes for yourself visit myvoicevibes.com.