The Color-Timer Method: Exploring the Use of a Visual Timekeeping Application in Introductory Public Speaking Classes
I have developed and am testing a new, color-based timing device for use in public speaking classrooms. My co-investigators and I conducted an exploratory study to evaluate the effectiveness of the tool as a means of reducing public speaking anxiety, improving student performance, and improving time management during formal speeches. The study was conducted at a small nursing college in Ohio where student participants (n=106) used the color-timer during a speech and then completed a short opinion survey. Broadly, students found the timer to be reasonably accurate, not distracting, and more helpful than harmful with regard to anxiety and performance. Practical implications for using the color-timer are outlined. Additionally, directions for future, more controlled, empirical research are presented, along with recommendations for improvements to the color-timer tool. The authors conclude that the color-timer application is a viable option for public speaking instructors, and is expected to be well-received by students.