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Lake Ridge entrepreneur launches free web platform to practice communication skills

SpeakMeister is a free web platform where members can practice skills such as presentations, job interviews, sales pitches, and other skills related to speaking or performing in front of others.

“You need two things to develop a skill: knowledge and practice. Most online training is focused on knowledge. Very little training is focused on practice,” said SpeakMeister CEO Cheryl Mathews, a resident of Lake Ridge in Prince William County, VA.

”SpeakMeister closes that gap with a flexible video platform that can be used both synchronously (practice at the same time with others) or asynchronously (practice any time on your own).”

These are pressure situations where practice builds confidence before a real-life performance. Other skills that can be practiced on SpeakMeister include stand-up comedy, debate, radio/TV appearances, webinar presentations, preaching, counseling, storytelling, acting, foreign languages and similar skills.

Members can practice in video meetings with others. Or they can practice by recording selfie-videos. Members control who can see their video and who can provide feedback.

To get a sense of the look and feel, imagine a mashup of popular social media, video and expert-advice sites. SpeakMeister is an online community with three primary features: Groups, Expert Marketplace, and Tutorials.

Groups are created by members around common interests. This is where members practice and share information. They participate in forums, schedule video meetings, record selfie-videos and get feedback.

The Expert Marketplace is where expert services are sold using a micro-payment model. Micro-payments make it affordable for members to ask questions or get expert feedback on their practice videos. Communication takes place over chat, email, phone or video conferencing.

Experts create their own stores or auctions, set their prices and decide which modes of communication they will use.

SpeakMeister includes 20 public speaking tutorials. Each tutorial is a bite-sized skill that members can practice in a group or on their own. It’s similar to learning dance steps where each tutorial builds on the next one, said Matthews.

“Popular video platforms are not designed for practicing skills. They don’t offer strong privacy control, integrated video recording, integrated video conferencing, and a marketplace where members can affordably engage with experts,” said Mathews.

SpeakMeister helps people learn and improve communication skills, polish presentations and get one-on-one advice from professionals in a flexible online format.

Visit the new platform at

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