Poised Blog: How to Manage Speaking Anxiety by Getting Analytical

Poised for Confident Communication

Charles Hua, Soumya Mohan, Vicky Sehrawat

At our best, we use oratory prowess to inspire generations and become icons. At worst, our inflammatory language can incite hatred and violence. In between, there’s a nuanced range of impact our words have on those we live and work with.

How we communicate — the words we use, the way we say them, our tone and body language — all influence the way we’re seen and received in the world, and can advance or inhibit career mobility.

Pre-pandemic, LinkedIn reported that interpersonal skills and communication represent the No. 1 skill gap in today’s workforce. And in a business world that’s now conducted largely over videoconferencing and remote audio tools, that problem has only been only exacerbated in the last year.

There are always the charismatic outliers who communicate naturally and confidently, riveting the attention of anyone who listens, commanding the room or the screen. Then there are the rest of us.

Fortunately, verbal communication skills can be taught. Professional people have for years sought out mentors and specialized clubs such as Toastmasters to help coach them on their speaking skills. But you don’t need to recruit time-consuming clubs and expensive mentors to change your speaking habits. You don’t even have to leave your house or carve out extra time. With the right tools, you can teach yourself to be a stronger, more effective communicator over time. And you can do this using the tool you’re already using every day for work: video chat.

A headfirst plunge into the future of communication

Over the past year, we’ve witnessed an irrevocable shift toward a new way of working with video conferencing and audio. If you work in the business world, you don’t need statistics to tell you how important remote communication tools have become to everyday work. But just in case you’re curious, in 2020, the Zoom app was downloaded 30x more than just a year prior.

This number represents more than a simple technology shift. Communication on a screen or through a phone is vastly different than it is in person. We’re all in a communication crucible now, learning under pressure how to comport ourselves from the chest up and be clear and confident in our speech. Filler words, rambling, droning on without energy in our voice — these things don’t cut it anymore, if they ever did.

In the business world — and really, in the world at large — every communication is an opportunity to increase collaboration and build trust with others. Poised is an AI-powered communication coach that gives you real-time and post-meeting coaching from online meetings. Designed for the remote or hybrid work world, it tracks your performance over time and provides a personalized learning plan with content from world-class speech coaches.

Designing your own communication objectives

Poised works by analyzing verbal, vocal, and visual cues to help you achieve your communication goals, whether it’s to command a room or become a more empathetic listener. When enabled, Poised automatically analyzes your speech contributions in video meetings and gives you various quantifiable metrics on your performance.

Critically, Poised offers feedback in real time with constructive prompts during meetings. The tool will also measure your progress over time, helping diagnose common issues in your speech patterns and measuring them against your goals. Poised is the only service that brings actionable data to your spoken interactions and provides continuous feedback to help you improve.

The Journey Ahead

We're excited to announce our $4.5M seed round by some of the best early stage investors including Wing Venture Capital, Slack Fund, Jeff Weiner’s Next Play Ventures, Concrete Rose Capital, Hyphen Capital, Andre Iguodala, Brianne Kimmel, Julia Lipton, Adam Grant and Jack Chou, among others to accelerate our mission to improve the world's spoken communication.

If you're interested in joining a mission-driven organization to democratize the language of career mobility we are actively across range of engineering and design roles. Learn more at Poised Careers, we hope to talk to you soon.