Three Apps Every Presenter Should Have
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    Three Apps Every Presenter Should Have

    As I prepare to offer a new class on effective virtual communication, I have been exploring tools that can help presenters be successful. Recently, I came across three very useful apps that every presenter should consider using. Below, I list the three applications and briefly describe what they do and why I find them valuable. All of these apps are available through Apple’s App Store.

    Timer with Sections

    Most presentations come with strict time requirements. Even the most engaging speaker can alienate her audience if she presents beyond her allocated time. This app is very useful in helping you meet your allotted time.

    For me, the two best features of this app are:

    (1) You can set timings for specific parts of your presentation (e.g., 3 minutes for the introduction, 7 minutes for the body of the speech, and 2 minutes for your conclusion) so that you can train yourself not to go long in the beginning and then have to rush at the end.

    (2) You can set the timer to vibrate so you can get “back pocket” notification while speaking. This helps your presentation stay on time.

    Breathing Zone

    Deep breathing is the best method for reducing many of the fight or flight symptoms that nervous and novice presenters experience, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and shaking. This doctor recommended app guides you through specific techniques to ensure long and deep breathing.

    Not only does deep breathing help you reduce anxiety symptoms, but it can help you support your voice by giving you the breath you need to sustain your vocal variety.

    Prompt Smart

    Early in the practicing process, you can benefit from referring to your outline to make sure you are following your intended structure. But keeping track of where you are in what you are saying and where you are on your outline can be very challenging. This app helps you by advancing your notes as you speak. Think of it as an intelligent teleprompter that syncs what it shows you based on your verbal pacing.

    While I strongly discourage reading or memorizing complete manuscripts, I do highly recommend practicing from outlines or notes. This app makes this part of the preparation process easier.

    Taken individually or together, these three apps can help you in your quest to become a more authentic and engaging speaker. I would be remiss if I did not put in a plug for the Gainful app, which offers useful content designed to help you learn specific skills in a reasonable timeframe. Gainful partnered with me to create content designed to help presenters be more confident.