We went through several rounds of affinity diagramming to find out patterns in the data that we collected from 10 participants and 3 subject matter expert interviews. 5 insights and 6 design principles were further extracted from the common themes we found.
The personal nature of public speaking can be a barrier to improvement.
Apprehension is a feeling commonly associated with public speaking, because most people feel so attached to the speeches, and think of speeches as representations and extensions of themselves. They worry about looking stupid or childish in front of others, and want to sound and look friendly, informative, and approachable.
Access to clear, objective feedback is expensive and scarce.
Personalized and actionable feedback from expert is desired by all levels of speakers, but often hard to find. To get quality feedback, students might need to be enrolled in a university class, join a public speaking club, or even pay for a personal coach, which is often expensive or time consuming. Most students ask for feedback from friends or family, but these tend to be shallow and too optimistic.
Self-assessment aids improvement but students lack the knowledge to do this properly.
Self-reflection and assessment can help students identify problems and patterns, facilitate long-term improvement, and complete external feedback, but many students are not sure how to do it and what to improve upon. There are many ways for productive self-reflection, such as watching video recordings of speeches, but students are either unaware of these options or they choose not to do them.
Watching video recordings of one’s speeches is effective for practice and assessment.
While watching video recordings of practices is considered painful by some students, it is an effective way to improve public speaking skills. Students can compare the recordings with the actual speech, or learn by watching videos of other experienced speakers. It’s also better than practicing in front of a mirror because video recordings will ease cognitive load, make it easier to notice red flags, and help students get comfortable with how they look and sound when delivering a speech.
Students struggle with structuring their content in an engaging way.
While structure is a critical factor for creating an engaging speech, students often spend their prep time disproportionately more on content and style. Many participants told us that they would like to tell good stories and be engaging, but it’s far more challenging and time consuming because it requires creativity than simply memorizing a script.
Balance encouragement with instruction
Speeches are emotional and experiential. Recognize that confidence is personal and changes over time.
Respect the user’s existing workflow
Respect their financial and time constraints. Integrate easily into their lives.
Encourage continual improvement
Engage people regardless of skill. Facilitate logical and sensible progression.
Ensure that feedback is personalized
Ensure that feedback is meaningful and personalized. Explain data clearly and supply actionable suggestions whenever possible.
Help speakers find their unique voice
Everyone has a voice and deserves the opportunity to speak. Respect idiosyncrasies and empower people to express their point of view.
Foster a friendly atmosphere
Fun is the key to long-term growth and participation.