Does speaking in public fill you with a sense of dread? Or do you think you are the man; that you need no practice or coaching before delivering that all important speech? It is true that you can get your coworkers or significant others to suffer through yet another rendition of “Why you should buy XYZ”. You can even employ a speech coach. But what if you could get a quantitative analysis of your performance all by your lonesome? What if you could look at a report that told you specifically what you were doing right and what you were doing wrong?
Enter VoiceVibes: VoiceVibes analyzes your speech patterns and scores you on a number of metrics. Using patented algorithms, the system listens to your presentation and then provides a report detailing your performance. The system evaluates attributes of your performance such as clarity, strength of opening, volume, pace, pausing, upspeak, and then positive and negative vibes. These vibes include assertive, authentic, captivating, confident, energetic, persuasive, assertive and more on the positive side. On the negative side it includes arrogant, belligerent, boring, condescending, ditsy, nervous, timid, and more. Combined these give you an accurate view into your performance and enough granularity to allow you to specifically focus on areas of improvement.
Debra Bond Cancro, Founder and CEO, decided one day to take a “break” from the tech industry to be a stay at home mom (See those quotes around “break”? Those are air quotes.). In her “spare” time she became worried about the tone she used with her family and voila VoiceVibes was born! Okay, that is a horrible simplification, but you get the point. I don’t even want to think of what VoiceVibes would score me when one of my relatives asks me for computer tech support, so there you go.
Jolokia and VoiceVibes have gotten together to integrate VoiceVibes into the Inferno platform. Using Jolokia’s tools that allow you to easily upload videos and the security and authorization built into Inferno, both users and their managers use the platform to evaluate and improve their performance.
Imagine this scenario. A sales manager is bringing on a new team and needs to ensure that they both know their product line, but also present to their customers in the best possible manner. The manager enables the new team to upload videos to their training category on Inferno. After the videos are recorded and uploaded, Inferno’s cognitive analysis runs on the new asset. This analysis includes the standard speech-to-text for creating captions and deep searching as well as the VoiceVibes analysis.
Using the Inferno reporting interface, both the sales trainee and the manager view the report from VoiceVibes to gauge their performance. As they perfect their pitch and performance both can see the obvious improvements in the VoiceVibes scores. VoiceVibes also calls out specific items that each trainee needs to focus on. Using this methodology both the trainee and the manager become confident in the pitch and, when ready, the trainee is unleashed upon the world.
This blog would not be complete without me personally subjecting myself to some VoiceVibes analysis. For the record, I fall into the “I don’t need to practice” category of people I described in the first paragraph. Clearly, I need to practice, I’m not god’s gift to speaking by any means, but I have to have an argument with my brain to ensure that I do.
To give it a whirl, I recorded myself reading Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech. For the first go, beyond selecting the speech through a recommendation of a cohort, I’ve not read it in advance, I’ve not done any mental preparation and I’ve not heard the speech since I was a child.
Out of the gate I had issues with my opening. I stammered a few times on the first sentences before getting any rhythm. I scored a whopping 1.6 out of 10 for my opening on this test. Next up on the list of the worst things I did in this performance was how boring and detached I was. In listening to the recording afterward (and even remembering what it was like during), I completely agree with this analysis. While I didn’t drone on, I didn’t sound engaged or excited. I did nail the pacing and pausing.
Round two improved the opening and the boringness and improved my overall score from 6.5 to 8.1. My pacing and my pausing got worse as I became more comfortable with what I was reading and started talking too fast.
Round three showed further improvement to a 9 out of 10 with more improvements to the opening and all categories. Of note my pausing and pacing, while improved, were still not ideal.
In listening the comparison and improvements from the first recording to the third were obvious. Moreover, the complaints that VoiceVibes had about my performance were dead on. I’m impressed. I gave three short speeches, one hour apart, spent a few minutes reading the analysis after each speech and showed marked improvements in specific areas. Sign me up before my next formal presentation!
So there you have it, more cognitive analysis in Inferno, this time giving you specific insights into your speaking performance and how you can improve. VoiceVibes is a great partner and a great example of the uses of Applied AI. Check VoiceVibes out and get us on the line when you’d like to explore how VoiceVibes and Inferno can help your team!