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Most of us would rather babysit hungry baby twins than give a speech to an audience of strangers 5 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills 5 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills Read More , but unique iOS app called PromptSmart ($9.99) promises to make the task a little easier.

PromptSmart is a smart, almost magical app, that listens and scrolls the contents of your speech as you read it. If you think I’m talking about automatic page scrolling, I’m not. PromptSmart follows your voice and only scrolls text when you read the highlighted part of the speech.

Sounds good? Read on and found out more.

How It Works

There are many occasions during which you might need to read a formal speech such as a commencement ceremony, a wedding, eulogy or political advocacy presentation. While it’s easy to type and print your speech on sheets of paper, imagine reading a speech on your iOS device, ideally your iPad, and having the text scroll as you read it

PromptSmart speech

The voice recognition in PromptSmart works so well that when you go off-script the app will not scroll the text – it’s a true voice and text recognition app.

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To use the app, you can import and edit text speeches only in .TXT and .DOCX format, from a variety of sources, including Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and OneDrive, or you can type your speech directly into the app’s text editor. All your speeches can be saved and managed in the script library.

PromptSmart text

The app also includes a timer at the top of the screen, which begins immediately when your speech is opened in scrolling mode and settings for highlighting multiple or single lines at time.

Notecard Feature

PromptSmart also includes a handy notecards feature, which doesn’t use the voice recognition feature. You can create notecards one at a time in the PromptSmart editor, or your can import a document. If you choose the latter, PromptSmart includes a feature that allows you to easily highlight and split notes into digital cards, before sorting them into the order you want.

PromptSmart notecard feature

In “play” mode, each individual card appears when you swipe left or right. Fortunately, cards can be viewed in landscape mode on both the iPad and iPhone, and there are settings for changing the color and font size of text.

PromptSmart notecard

Having PromptSmart on the iPhone makes it extremely portable and a little less obtrusive than the iPad. Other presentation features include an audio recording feature, and the ability to share text document files via email and Messages.

PromptSmart Settings

The developers of PromptSmart put a lot of thought into making the app highly customisable, which means lots of settings to play with. Many of these are visual settings, like background colour and number of lines PromptSmart should highlight, so you can set up the app as it best suits your reading style.

PromptSmart settings

You can also change the scroll control from voice recognition to manual scroll, or you can pre-set an automatic scrolling speed that doesn’t use voice recognition. If need be, PromptSmart can also capitalize the text of your script if that helps you view and read it better.

Practice Makes Perfect

Despite the smart features of PromptSmart, you will naturally still need to practice reading your speech several times, and make use of other public speaking skills 5 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills 5 Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills Read More  and presentation techniques How The Pros Do It: Avoiding Embarrassment & Delivering Perfect Presentations How The Pros Do It: Avoiding Embarrassment & Delivering Perfect Presentations Ah! The presentation. Some of us love them. Some of us hate them. But no matter what, we all usually have to give them at one point or another, whether in school, work or even... Read More . In my tests with the app, I found that the scrolling guide works better in multiple lines rather than on a single line. The single line style often skips a line or two during the voice recognition.

PromptSmart linescroll

It also seems that scrolling works more effectively when the script is single-space with no double-space between paragraphs. As you practice your speech, you can make adjustments to fit your particular needs and style of delivery within the app itself.

Overall, PromptSmart works very well and is especially useful if you need to give presentations on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure the developers already have updates on the drawing board for more features, there are a few things I’d like to see. It would be great, if you could tap on the screen to pause the timer, and the ability to selectively delete one or more notecards from a project would be nice too. iCloud synchronization between devices would also be useful.

Despite a few drawbacks, you’re going to like seeing the magic of PromptSmart. The iTunes App Store includes other teleprompter type apps, such as Best Prompter ($0.99), ELITE Prompter ($9.99), which includes more rich text editing features and support for other standard script formats (ASTX, FDX, and XAV), and Quick Teleprompter ($2.99), which supports mirroring with hardware teleprompter equipment. But none of these alternatives have the voice recognition feature found in PromptSmart.

Download: PromptSmart ($9.99)

Have you used PromptSmart or another app for delivering a speech? Let us know how it went, below!

Image Credits: Woman holding a microphone Via Shutterstock

  1. Andrew N Jordan
    September 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I see some hilarious moments if this thing started mis behaving! How about SIRI jumping in and loudly correcting your pronunciation . Or the Mickey Mouse effect if it sped up

  2. Jeremy Moss
    September 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Shame it's so expensive (for an app).

    • Bakari Chavanu
      September 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm

      Hmm, Jeremy, I'm not sure. I think it's a pretty innovative app for what it does, and if it's used a lot. The developers are also working on updates and improvements.

  3. Debkumar B
    September 11, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Agree with Ann S, the application should also be released for Android users.

  4. Ann S
    September 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Very cool. They should release it for Android, too!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      September 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Ann, I bet they are working on it as we speak. Thanks for your feedback.

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