Got a presentation coming up? Between keeping your thoughts straight, sticking to the time limit and braving an audience, public speaking gigs can be daunting.
A new Android app for Google Cardboard aims to help you get over your fears by putting you in front of a virtual audience.
Public Speaking for Cardboard lets you choose between two locations — a small conference room and a large auditorium — with animated audience members and ambient noise to simulate the experience of speaking on stage.
You can also add your own presentation slides into the app so that they show up on the large screen behind you on stage, and there’s a screen to help you keep track of elapsed time. Once your deck is loaded and ready to go, you can practice running through your speech.
The app does a reasonably good job of simulating the experience of speaking in front of an audience: you can look in all directions, learn to make eye contact and ignore distractions from the crowd, and finish your presentation in time.
It’s certainly better than practicing in front of the mirror or by glancing at printed notes, as neither of these options replicate the feeling of being in front of people watching and listening to you. It probably works best with a Cardboard headset that straps onto your head, as you’ll have your hands free to gesture along with your speech.
The free app is still in the works and the developers say they’re working to improve audience animations and reactions, and to add new environments and voice recording capabilities. An iOS version is also coming soon.
If you’ve got a presentation or speech on your calendar, this is certainly a great way to practice in lieu of a real audience.