A techpreneur named Sashv Dave is on a mission to make verbal education easy.
The Covid era left much of our communication and interaction virtual. As we began to talk with others virtually, the in-person interaction experience began to disappear. It is much easier to talk to someone on a screen than to talk to someone, or even a crowd, in person. As such, glossophobia rates have been on the rise over the past several years. What is glossophobia?
Glossophobia is the fear of public speaking—a fear that affects almost 80% of the population. (See Also)
As someone affected by this issue himself even before the pandemic, Sashv Dave decided to do something about it. He created Verba, a mobile app that provides an immersive learning experience for anyone determined to overcome their fear of public speaking. When asked why this issue is important to him, Dave answers, “My fear of public speaking was not just about speaking to an audience. It affected my confidence, which completely closed me off from others.”
Dave has been developing apps for over 4 years, tackling a variety of issues from drunk driving to mental wellness. When asked about why he enjoys building apps, Dave responds, “I feel that creation is a form of storytelling. The issues we solve through the apps we create tell a story of the things we are passionate about solving”. With Verba, the story he shared was the steps he took to overcome his fear of public speaking.
With the community features in the app that allow people to interact with one another, learners can find support groups struggling with the same issue as them—a fear of public speaking. When working towards the same goal, individuals can let go of their reservations and progress together. Additionally, the app facilitates a platform for people to post topics they are interested in discussing. By having others post their thoughts, individuals can become more confident in their ideas and eventually progress toward expressing those vocally. Smaller steps before completely opening up are integral to a successful learning curve—something that Verba is deliberate in delivering to its community.
One of the most eye-catching features of the app is the speech analysis tool. With the unexpected ways in which any conversation can go, Verba trains learners to think on their feet through a speaking drill. Given 3 random words, users are told to craft them into a 30-second story while Verba tracks their confidence, tone, and content. As they continue to iterate the drill, Verba hopes to provide further analysis of the visual aspects of a speech like hand gestures and facial expressions.
Outside of the app, Verba also offers other sources of learning, creating an immersive experience for anyone wanting to overcome glossophobia. For one, they host bootcamps where they present custom-made curricula with expert instructors for anyone needed synchronous learning to succeed. Additionally, they host a community of over 250 members on discord readily available for practice sessions with others.
Since its launch, Verba has been downloaded by 15,000 people in 183 countries. They are growing rapidly and are continuing to innovate in the intersection between technology and public speaking. If you are interested in checking them out, take a look at their website at https://verbaco.info/. Download links available on the site!