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Blog - Phobias

Virtual training of speaking
in public

By Daniel Andreev, Chief Product Officer at PsyTech VR
August 05, 2022



Hello everyone, today our team will introduce you to one of the most common phobias in the world - glossophobia.

Glossophobia - public speaking fear - is widespread and believed to affect ~77% of the population. Some individuals may feel slightly nervous at the very thought of public speaking, while others experience full-on panic and fear. They may try to avoid public speaking at all costs, or if they must speak in public, they endure shaking hands and a weak, quavering voice.
Smiling is an essential factor, it reduces stress
In addition to a range of health problems and the exacerbation of many chronic diseases in people who have recovered from COVID-19, no less dangerous but not so apparent consequences can lie in wait - a post-COVID syndrome that “hits” the central nervous system. Psychiatrists and psychologists say that after a coronavirus infection, patients experience panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms.

After the Covid, when everyone had to work at home in social distancing, many people started losing social skills on how to communicate in public and give presentations. When we came into real life a year ago, where colleagues stopped being virtual and became material, people started experiencing natural stress while speaking to their colleagues on any topic.

Nature of fear

Most phobias appear out of the blue, often starting in childhood or early adulthood. A phobia may arise due to genetic tendencies and other environmental, biological, and psychological factors. People who fear public speaking may have a real fear of being embarrassed or rejected.

Glossophobia may relate to one’s prior experiences; an individual with a bad experience during public speaking may fear repeating that previous experience when attempting to speak again.

Character traits

Glossophobia occurs in indecisive people who are not confident in their abilities. It happens that over time, the disorder disappears, and in adulthood, it manifests itself again.

Wrong upbringing

Parents inspire the child that talking loudly, standing out, and attracting attention is bad. The kid is taught that people can ridicule him for stupidity, appearance, seditious thoughts, or misunderstanding. While speaking in public, people are subconsciously afraid to say something wrong and be humiliated.

Personal qualities

Excessive self-criticism and overestimation of the importance of someone else's opinion are often qualities people carefully cultivate in themselves for years, not realizing that they are cultivating the ground for all mental disorders.

Negative experience

A person who unsuccessfully spoke to the public hardly decides to do it again. Negative experiences are not only personal but also someone else's. If an impressionable person sees someone booed or ridiculed during a public speech, he may develop glossophobia.

The most common treatments for glossophobia are mental stimulation techniques, actual training practices, and various stress-reducing medications.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality

At PsyTech VR, we offer an innovative method of solving this problem - safe training of glossophobia in the format of virtual reality.
You may ask, how does it work?
Everything is almost like in life; we recreate natural scenes and spectators to make it more authentic. Practicing with a Virtual Reality headset creates a safe environment for learning, helps participants get used to the atmosphere of a packed hall, get comfortable in front of many listeners, and become more confident and stress-resistant in real life.

Our team has developed a unique space in virtual reality, which users can access in a VR headset (with Meta Quest), where you find themselves in various virtual locations:
  • in a small bar with friends
  • at a working meeting with colleagues and boss
  • in a large student audience
  • at a conference
As we've already mentioned in previous articles, phobias are built with the "leader of the fear" technic, when the difficulty arises from the first to the last level in VR. This method helps to adapt fluidly and avoid possible heart attacks when facing the most challenging scenarios.

There you can talk about the chosen topic, and the AI system, developed by the PsyTech team, will determine the level of your performance!
The simulator allows not only to rehearse the performance but also forms the habit of closely following what is happening in the audience. Virtual listeners react sensitively if the speaker is too carried away with his report and forgets about interacting with them. In response to a monotonous tone and lack of eye contact, the audience starts violently chatting and showing some disapproving attitude to the speaker. So try to impress them!
You can train in VR using self-guiding courses from the comfort of your home


with a specialist - the doctor will have access to your training in real-time and guide you through all the training!
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Daniil Andreev
CPO at PsyTech VR

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