Even the best performers and speakers experience stage fright and performance anxiety. Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber have been known to vomit right on stage. Adele's been very open about her battles with anxiety and stage fright, admitting to Rolling Stone that she's scared of audiences. Famed leaders and speakers including Mahatma Gandhi, Joel Osteen, and Warren Buffett experienced debilitating symptoms on stage in their early days of speaking.

Naturally, there's an app for that.

These apps will help you gain confidence, relax prior to and during your speech, enhance audience participation, and rehearse effectively. There's even an app to help you eliminate your "ums" and "ahs." No need to fear being on stage when technology has your back.  

To help you relax before, during, and after your presentations.

Public Speaking by HiveBrain

This is a guided meditation and self-hypnosis program specifically designed for speakers. Led by Dr. Andrew Johnson, these positive suggestions for your unconscious mind are meant to build your confidence and help you relax. It's said to minimize anxiety about public speaking.

To prepare for your speech.

Have you ever found yourself counting a presenter's "umms" or "likes," only to miss most of what he or she is saying?

Ummo records your practice speech and tracks these filler words for you. It even generates a transcript that highlights where you use filler words. You can avoid the over-use of certain words by adding them to your settings, so the app can track them for you. Once you hear and see your potentially annoying patterns it's easier to change them. Well OK, not easier, but it gave me the sheer determination to break the habit.

It's easy to practice your script, but to practice eye contact and other skills demonstrated by a seasoned speaker, you need an audience. That's what the VirtualSpeech app gives you.

You do need a virtual headset, but those are inexpensive nowadays. Upload your presentation and the app creates a 3-D, realistic looking room, attendees and all. Your audience will fidget, nod their heads, and make eye contact. When you're done you can see an analysis and receive feedback.

To engage your audience.

Created for speaking, training, and team participation, Kahoot lets you gamify whatever you want to put in front of an audience. They can win "Kahoots" at the end of the meeting or conference. You can quiz and survey your audience and display the results on your screen. It's easy to add video and images to increase engagement. Nobody ever wants to raise their hand to questions from the stage. With Kahoot, your audience members may remain anonymous if they choose. See these case studies for creative ideas on how to use this app.

Make it easy for your audience to visit your unique URL so they can see and download your slides and notes. They can write their own personal notes, share content on social media, and participate in your polls and live Q&As. You can make it even more interactive by letting your audience vote on your content and offer feedback on your presentation. Take advantage of your audience's FOMO tendencies by featuring a live Twitter wall. Don't forget to tell them what hashtag(s) to use--people love to see their tweets and profile image on a live screen.

Not only TED speakers need a countdown clock; no one likes a speech that goes overtime. This LED-style countdown clock is easy to see from a distance, so you are free to move around on stage. It allows you to set up to three warning points to notify you when it's time to transition to the next phase of your presentation. I like this concept because I tend to get a little preoccupied toward the end of a speech.

Ever wonder what your audience is thinking? Poll Everywhere captures the most-used words your participants are using in the comments feature. The more often a word is used, the bigger it appears on the screen. If you are a skilled speaker, this app will allow you to change directions or address a topic to make your speech even more relevant to the audience.

No microphone? No worries. You can use your smartphone to amplify your voice. What I like about this particular app is that it will record your speech. The built-in editor will help you remove unwanted sections to make your presentation appropriate for download from your site. Use your speech as an opt-in for your marketing funnel, a free add-on for purchases, or to add to your speaker's demo reel.

No more excuses. Now you can get yourself onstage to share what you know with less stress and more fun.

Published on: Sep 24, 2018