Can This App Change Public Speaking?
July 10, 2017
Orai has a simple goal: to make you a better speaker. By analyzing recorded speeches to search for filler words, voice variety, and good pacing, Orai encourages users to practice speaking skills in order to produce better communicators. As a group that is also interested in improving communication skills, we decided to try it out.
Orai is super simple and very easy to use. You can set up a profile quickly and get started right away. The training modules are displayed on the home screen and all you have to do is record. Once you’re finished, the analysis page appears and you can navigate through the different aspects of speech analysis.
Even lets you set reminders to practice speaking – couldn’t be easier!
We tested Orai with a prewritten speech that included intentionally placed 10 ums and 11 likes. Orai caught 5 of the ums and 0 of the likes. Based on the transcript Orai gives you after recording, the app often misinterpreted “um” as “I’m” and did not catch the filler. And while the app advertises that it points out filler words such as like, that word was not detected in the analysis.
The other factors that are analyzed by Orai were very accurate and helpful. The words per minute count and vocal variation proved helpful in getting us to slow down and practice emphasizing major points. Orai even highlights parts of the recording where you spoke too fast/slow or were monotone so you know what specific areas to improve on.
While the app may have some difficulty ensuring accuracy of analysis, Orai is overall helpful to improving speaking skills. Some of the learning modules – such as ‘Pause Challenge’ which encourages you to take 2-3 second pauses between sentences – can be useful in practicing effective speaking habits. The most helpful is the ‘My Own Speech’ section where you can record anything you’d like – such as that upcoming presentation – and get immediate feedback on speech clarity, voice variety, pace, and fillers.