As of 2013, approximately 74 percent of people suffer from speech anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, there's even a name for it: glossophobia. Luckily, there is a new app on the market to help those who detest speaking in public. LikeSo, which can be downloaded in the Apple App Store, may be just the ticket.
LikeSo was created to act as a personal speech coach for those who have a little trouble speaking in public. However, the app can also help those who simply want to improve on their speaking skills. For instance, LikeSo may break your habit of saying "um" or "uh" frequently, depending on how much you practice.
And practice is the key - LikeSo gives you the opportunity to talk out loud (while you're alone, if you prefer) to work through your verbal habits. The end goal is to help users speak articulately and confidently.
"We all want to speak in a way that compels others to listen," said Audrey Mann Cronin, Say It Media, Inc. founder. "But when we insert too many 'likes' and 'ya knows,' we lessen our credibility and invite unnecessary judgment."
LikeSo has a series of conversation games, which gauge how individuals talk on the fly. Through voice recognition technology, LikeSo can pick up on how often filler words are spoken (e.g., "totally," "I mean," "so"). Additionally, it can measure the pacing of conversation, providing insight to both slow and fast talkers.
"Tethered to our smartphones, and with so many social channels to communicate on, we reduce our opportunity to have articulate, substantive, face-to-face conversations," wrote the app's creators on the LikeSo website. "With LikeSo, we want to turn our smartphone addiction into a solution."
Over time, users may start to view LikeSo like another smartphone game. The app provides Speech Fitness scores to give individuals insight into how they're doing in terms of filler word use, articulation, and speech time. While LikeSo could provide helpful training for public speaking events, such as auditions and debates, it can also enhance everyday conversation.
Not everyone wants to work on their verbal articulation, but for those who do, the app can be downloaded for $0.99 in the App Store.