HONOLULU (KHON2) — According to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, they have a new interactive, state-of-the-art virtual reality lab to help students, faculty and staff improve their public speaking skills.

The lab features a virtual reality headset and software that sends feedback after a speech is given.

Check out more news from around Hawaii

It evaluates everything from hand gestures to eye contact.

(Courtesy: University of Hawaii at Manoa)

The lab is currently only open to the UH community and priority is given to researchers on the National Science Foundation grant, but will eventually be open to the public.

(Courtesy: University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Paige Barnett, UH Manoa communicology student and undergraduate research assistant said, “In a lot of my classes, I have group projects that I present and presentations I do myself so it’s really cool being able to just go in there, and practice, and see my analytics and improve in any way that I can.”

When someone arrives for their appointment, they go through a quick training session with the student research assistant.

The user can select an open prompt or a guided prompt with a specific question to address.

They can also choose the type of audience environment, which ranges from polite to “hostile.”

While giving the speech, the user will see the setting as if they are speaking in front of a real audience. The user will then immediately receive feedback on their presentation.

Jay Stout, UH Manoa communicology lecturer teaching public speaking courses said, “It’s very valuable. Often what we see in public speaking is that a lot of students suffer from anxiety so having an opportunity for them to practice and to go through the motions of a speech without a live audience just yet, is really beneficial for them.”

For more information, you can visit the VR lab website.