Thursday, May 26 2022

Do you want to improve your public speaking skills and control your nerves in front of a large crowd? There is an app for that… and it was developed by a Coronado teacher.

The PD Eyes app designed by Coronado teacher Peter Debrule combines play with the development of public speaking skills to build confidence and relieve the anxiety of speaking in front of a real crowd.

“The educators will have helped their students with the basics, outlines, research, format, styles of speech, and would have given advice and shown students how to practice,” said Debrule. “It’s up to the student to go home and practice. For many students, individually, this is difficult and boring for them. This game allows them to bring the class home, so to speak. “

The app was discontinued earlier this month and is available for iPhone and Android users.

The game challenges students to keep their eyes on their audience and learn the content of their speech. The stopwatch starts when the user presses the start button, then the virtual audience begins to raise their hand. The user should keep their eyes on the audience and press down on that audience member so that they lower their hand and remain seated.

“Otherwise, they get up, say ‘Eyes up! Eyes up! Eyes up! “And go,” Debrule explained. “The better you know the content of your speech, the better your presentation will be. Using the game will help build your self-confidence through practice and preparation by presenting yourself in a somewhat familiar environment – the classroom.

The app also addresses public speaking anxiety, explaining that it’s okay to be nervous.

“The important thing is to self-identify how nervous each of us becomes in situations and to try to minimize our anxieties so that they are not visible,” Debrule said. “For the presentations, it is through our practice, our preparation and our experiences that will help us overcome our anxieties. It will not cure them but will help us overcome them.

PD Eyes first started out as Performance, Discipline, Visualization (PDV) and then abbreviated as PD Eyes – bearing the same initials as its developer. But Debrule insists it’s just a coincidence and the app’s logo is better. His more than 20 years of experience teaching communications are what drove the development of the app.

“We have all witnessed at one time or another someone standing in front of an audience and reading their speech or directly reading the PowerPoint. This is not a reading class, ”he joked. “Communication, whether social or professional, is one of the most important skills every student must acquire. It is a basic element that every individual needs to form good friendships, family and professional relationships. It doesn’t matter what profession a student chooses.

Debrule hopes to witness firsthand the improvements in their presentation skills. He has already noticed the difference it made with some of his English students.

“It helped them in their presentations by making them speak English instead of reading it,” he said. “I never thought it would help in that way. It is a tool to be used for improvement. Once they reach the speaking level, they will see how the app will help them become a better presenter through practice and preparation.

Debrule certainly plans more app development in his future – perhaps in the sports arena – but for now, the former coach’s eyes remain focused on his current project.

“We are not all born speakers,” he said. “Our book even says that over 90% of us have to work harder to become better speech presenters or to appear to be natural speech presenters. This app is for 90 percent. I just want to give everyone a tool they can use to become a more polished professional speaker.

To download the application, click here.


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