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See detailUne audience virtuelle pour l’entrainement de la fluence de parole lors d’une prise de parole en public : Etude pilote
Menjot, Pauline; Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

in Cahiers de l'ASELF (in press)

Contexte : Prendre la parole face à une audience est un défi pour beaucoup. Elle est considérée comme l’une des activités les plus craintes. L’anxiété liée à la prise de parole en public a un impact sur ... [more ▼]

Contexte : Prendre la parole face à une audience est un défi pour beaucoup. Elle est considérée comme l’une des activités les plus craintes. L’anxiété liée à la prise de parole en public a un impact sur les performances de communication, notamment sur la fluence de parole. La littérature met en évidence les bénéfices d’un entrainement ciblant les compétences communicationnelles liées à cette activité. Néanmoins, son implémentation dans des situations proches du monde réel reste complexe. Par conséquent, la réalité virtuelle pourrait être un outil novateur et pertinent pour ce type d’entrainement. Objectifs : Cette étude vise à valider l’utilisation d’une audience virtuelle pour l’entrainement de la prise de parole en public en évaluant sa capacité à susciter des réactions émotionnelles (en termes d’anxiété) et comportementales (en termes de disfluences). Méthodologie : Huit participants ont réalisé une présentation orale dans trois conditions : 1) face à un public réel (Vivo_Public), 2) devant un public virtuel (Virtuo_Public) et 3) dans une salle de conférence virtuelle sans public (Virtuo_Vide). Les disfluences et le niveau d’anxiété des participants ont été analysés. Le vécu de l’immersion dans l’environnement virtuel a quant à lui été évalué au moyen d’un questionnaire portant sur le sentiment de présence et les cybermalaises. Résultats : Les réactions comportementales, le sentiment de présence satisfaisant et l’absence de cybermalaises suggèrent que cet environnement virtuel est un outil prometteur pour l’entrainement à la prise de parole en public. Conclusion : Cette étude est la première étape d’un projet à long terme. Elle a permis de mettre en évidence les éléments positifs de cette audience virtuelle ainsi que ceux nécessitant une amélioration. D’autres études sont toutefois nécessaires pour améliorer cet environnement et confirmer statistiquement sa validité écologique. [less ▲]

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See detailSpeakInVR : validation of a virtual audience
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Poster (2021, May 28)

Introduction/Context: Nowadays public speaking is a vital skill in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the manager who defends ... [more ▼]

Introduction/Context: Nowadays public speaking is a vital skill in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the manager who defends his project in front of stakeholders, the candidate during a job interview, the professor in front of students, etc. However, social anxiety may impede oral presentation performances . Repeated training in front of an audience can help to better control the speaker’s emotions and skills, and improve speaking performances (Wallach et al., 2009). Given that training in front of a real audience can be logistically difficult to organize, virtual reality (VR) can be the solution. Nevertheless, the emotional impact of the virtual audience on the speaker will depend on the emotional valence and arousal they attribute to the audience’s avatars. Aim: The goal of the present study is to assess the emotional valence and arousal attributed to the avatars of a new virtual audience, depending on the avatars’ attitude. Method and material: Based on the methods from Chollet & Scherer (2017), 125 adults participated in this study. They rated the emotional valence and arousal of 8 avatars depending on their body posture, their face’s expressions, or their head movements. Results and conclusions: Results show that head movements were more readily linked to the emotional valence attributed to the avatars by the participants than were body postures and facial expressions. Furthermore, arousal seems to be directly linked with head movements and facial expressions. Full results from each parameter will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of a virtual audience for public speaking: Preliminary results
Menjot, Pauline ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2021, May 28)

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities (Furmark, 2002). Speaker’s anxiety influences their communication performance. While the literature highlights the benefits of public ... [more ▼]

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities (Furmark, 2002). Speaker’s anxiety influences their communication performance. While the literature highlights the benefits of public speaking training, is complex to implement in real -life (Goberman et al., 2011). Hence, virtual reality (VR) could be a viable alternative tool (Owens & Beidel, 2015). The aim of this study was to validate a virtual audience for public speaking by assessing its qualities (i.e., feeling of presence and cybersickness) and its ability to elicit emotional (i.e., anxiety) and behavioral (i.e., dysfluencies) reactions. Methodology. Forty participants without social anxiety (attested to by the PRCS, Heeren et al., 2013 ; LSAS-SR, Heeren et al., 2012 ; and BFNE-S, Rodebaugh et al., 2004) or fluency disorders (confirmed by the SSI-4, Riley, 2009) were recruited. They had to give an oral presentation under three counterbalanced conditions (in an empty virtual conference room and in front of virtual and real audiences). We aimed to analyze their speech and anxiety and the quality of VR. Due to the health crisis, this methodology was only pre-tested on 8 participants. However, positive results, including a sufficient feeling of presence and the lack of cybersickness, suggest that this virtual audience can be a relevant tool. Conclusions. The methodology will be discussed in light of these first positive results, on the one hand, and of the characteristics that can be improved (realism of the virtual audience and methodological limits), on the other hand, for the benefit of future studies. References Furmark, T. (2002). Social phobia: Overview of community surveys. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 105(2), 84–93. https://doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.1r103.x Goberman, A. M., Hughes, S., & Haydock, T. (2011). Acoustic characteristics of public speaking: Anxiety and practice effects. Speech Communication, 53(6), 867–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2011.02.005 Heeren, A., Ceschi, G., Valentiner, D. P., Dethier, V., & Philippot, P. (2013). Assessing public speaking fear with the short form of the personal report of confidence as a speaker scale: Confirmatory factor analyses among a French-speaking community sample. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 9, 609–618. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S43097 Heeren, A., Maurage, P., Rossignol, M., Vanhaelen, M., Peschard, V., Eeckhout, C., & Philippot, P. (2012). Self-report version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale: Psychometric properties of the French version. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 44(2), 99–107. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026249 Owens, M. E., & Beidel, D. C. (2015). Can virtual reality effectively elicit distress associated with social anxiety disorder? Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 37(2), 296–305. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-014-9454-x Rodebaugh, T. L., Woods, C. M., Thissen, D. M., Heimberg, R. G., Chambless, D. L., & Rapee, R. M. (2004). More information from fewer questions: The factor structure and item properties of the original and brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale. Psychological Assessment, 16(2), 169–181. https://doi.org/10.1037/1040-3590.16.2.169 [less ▲]

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See detailA virtual audience for public speaking: A pilot study
Menjot, Pauline; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Schyns, Michael ULiege et al

Poster (2020, December 01)

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities, with approximately two-thirds of undergraduates afraid to speak in public (Ferreira Marinho et al., 2017). This form of anxiety has ... [more ▼]

Background. Public speaking is one of the most feared activities, with approximately two-thirds of undergraduates afraid to speak in public (Ferreira Marinho et al., 2017). This form of anxiety has consequences on communication performance (King & Finn, 2017), particularly on speech fluency (Goberman et al., 2011), and quality of speech can influence a speaker’s career success (Wörtwein et al., 2015). While the literature highlights the benefits of public speaking training on communication performance (Goberman et al., 2011), its implementation is complex. Therefore, virtual reality (VR) seems to be an innovative and relevant tool for clinicians. Aims. This study aims to validate the use of a virtual audience for public speaking by assessing its capacity to elicit emotional (i.e. anxiety) and behavioral (i.e. disfluencies) responses confirming its ecological validity. Methodology. Eight participants made an oral presentation in front of a virtual audience. Their speech disfluencies and anxiety were analyzed. They also completed questionnaires assessing the quality of VR based on the feeling of presence and side effects (i.e. cybersickness). Results. The emotional (anxiety) and behavioral responses (speech disfluencies), the sufficient feeling of presence, and the absence of cybersickness suggest that this virtual audience can be a relevant tool for public speaking training and rehabilitation. Conclusions. This pilot study is the first step in a long-term project. It highlights the positive points of a virtual audience as well as those requiring improvement. Further studies are needed to enhance this virtual environment and statistically confirm its ecological validity. References: - Ferreira Marinho, A. C., Mesquita de Medeiros, A., Côrtes Gama, A. C., & Caldas Teixeira, L. (2017). Fear of Public Speaking: Perception of College Students and Correlates. Journal of Voice, 31(1), 7-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2015.12.012 - Goberman, A. M., Hughes, S., & Haydock, T. (2011). Acoustic characteristics of public speaking: Anxiety and practice effects. Speech Communication, 53(6), 867–876. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2011.02.005 - King, P. E., & Finn, A. N. (2017). A test of attention control theory in public speaking: cognitive load influences the relationship between state anxiety and verbal production. Communication Education, 66(2), 168–182. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634523.2016.1272128 - Wörtwein, T., Chollet, M., Schauerte, B., Morency, L.-P., Stiefelhagen, R., & Scherer, S. (2015). Multimodal Public Speaking Performance Assessment. International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1145/2818346.2820762 [less ▲]

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See detailSpeakInVR : Validation d'une audience virtuelle
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Speech/Talk (2020)

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See detailSPEAKinVR: validation of a virtual audience
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Conference (2020, April 30)

The main goal of this paper is to validate a virtual reality environment for public speaking training. Following Slater’s terminology (2003), there are two important concepts in VR: “immersion which ... [more ▼]

The main goal of this paper is to validate a virtual reality environment for public speaking training. Following Slater’s terminology (2003), there are two important concepts in VR: “immersion which stands for what the technology delivers from an objective point of view” and presence which is “the human reaction to immersion”, i.e., the participant’s subjective sense of being in the virtual place. The reactions of the audience can have a significant impact on the speaker’s emotions and performance. At a first level, our hypothesis is that interactivity has a positive impact on the presence feeling. At a higher level, as already shown by Chollet et al. (2015), interactivity in VR is also a major ingredient in the training process. It is therefore essential to know if the users perceive the interactions in the virtual environment as representative of the reality and how each one is interpreted. There are two main dimensions in the context of emotion and affect: arousal and valence. As defined by Chollet and Scherer (2017), “arousal can be understood as an audience member’s level of alertness, and valence corresponds to how positively or negatively the person feels toward the speaker or the presentation”. In their paper, they tried to understand how users perceive virtual audience based on the nonverbal behavior of audience members. Our first question is to investigate which attitudes the characters must display and how people perceive the individual members of the audience in terms of their states of arousal and valence. A second related question is linked to the level of reality used to represent the public. The characters in virtual environments, i.e. avatars, are most often synthetic images. In some cases, photorealistic representations are used but the level of animation is then generally extremely limited. In this context, our second research question investigates whether the use of fully rigged 3D photogrammetric models, i.e. with a skeleton we can animate, can significantly improve the user’s presence. [less ▲]

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See detailSPEAKInVR : Validation d’une audience virtuelle
Etienne, Elodie ULiege; Leclercq, Anne-Lise ULiege; Remacle, Angélique ULiege et al

Scientific conference (2020, March 12)

Nowadays public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should develop. Such a skill is vital in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a ... [more ▼]

Nowadays public speaking is one of the most important skills a person should develop. Such a skill is vital in many circumstances and in very different fields: the sales representative who presents a product to customers, the tourist guide visiting a city with a group, the manager who defends his project in front of stakeholders, the candidate during a job interview, the professor in front of students… Unfortunately, many firms complain about the too low level of this skill within their staff. The global theme of our work is to look for innovative solutions leading to an improvement of public speaking performances. The global project aims to help people to speak in public by training them in a realistic and interactive VR environment providing some feedbacks. Unity 3D engine was used to create a first basic version of the tool. 3D avatars have been designed and animated to represent some common audience postures, corresponding to different degrees of arousal and valence, and some classical situations as people typing on laptops or playing with smartphones. 3D photogrammetric versions of these avatars will soon be completed for testing increased realism. The objective of this presentation is to validate the virtual audience. [less ▲]

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