Echo: Practicing public speaking without the public

challenge  |  exploratory research  |  ideation & prototyping  |  final concept


Practicing spoken communication typically requires an audience. With Echo, students can find value in practice even when they're practicing on their own time.

at a glance

Introducing Echo
Echo is a communication practice tool that incorporates automated, peer, and expert feedback. A two-part system, it supports solo practice and serves as an in-class supplement with the support of faculty and peers. Echo is found at the intersection of the parties that enable its success: Service facilitators who provide the financial and infrastructure support, and feedback providers who enhance the automated reports with holistic guidance and long term rhetorical strategy development.
echo logo

echo storyboard 1 echo storyboard 2

How it works
Echo's service blueprint spans the complete journey of a student who receives a new assignment and uses Echo to prepare and deliver a presentation. The student's actions are mapped with the touchpoints, stakeholders, and processes that comprise the service, providing a comprehensive view of how Echo is designed to support the development of successful communication skills. Please click here for an expanded view.

To demonstrate the technical feasibility of automated feedback, we looked into current speech parsing and body position detection tools, such as Ummo, CMU Sphinx, and Microsoft Kinect.

student on a computer

service blueprint

Next steps
Our concept was met with enthusiasm and technical questions about implementation, signaling interest in carrying this idea forward. Stakeholders are currently investigating how to make Echo a part of CMU's resource offerings, potentially hosted within the campus library, and we are proud and humbled by its positive reception.
user practicing a presentation
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