Giving a public speech is sometimes reported by the presenter to be more fearful than death. However, public speaking skills are not only important in presentations but also in job interviews, negotiations, and in daily interactions.
In our group, we have looked at public speaking from many facets including speaker traits, reactions of the audience, public speaking performance, and public speaking anxiety. In a study with a virtual audience, we investigated automatic behavioral markers for public speaking performance and anxiety. For example, we observed that individuals with a higher self-reported public speaking anxiety score tend to have less eye contact with the audience, have a smaller variation in loudness, have more pauses, and express more facial fear expressions.
M. Chollet, T. Wörtwein, L.-P. Morency and S. Scherer, A Multimodal Corpus for the Assessment of Public Speaking Ability and Anxiety, In Proceedings of the 10th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), 2016
T.Wörtwein, L.-P. Morency and S. Scherer, Automatic Assessment and Analysis of Public Speaking Anxiety: A Virtual Audience Case Study. In Proceedings of International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), 2015