Do you want to improve your public speaking? The AI tool of this startup aims to give you a silver tongue - Start Up Gazzete
Get In Touch
541 Melville Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301,
Ph: +1.831.705.5448
Work Inquiries
Ph: +1.831.306.6725

Do you want to improve your public speaking? The AI tool of this startup aims to give you a silver tongue


If you are intimidated by the prospect of giving a speech, going through a job interview, or throwing a wedding toast, a Seattle startup called Yoodli might have just what you need: an AI-enabled software platform that analyzes your delivery and gives you tips to improve, without prejudice.

Today, the company is exiting stealth mode, opening the waiting list for early access to its beta product and announcing a $ 1 million pre-seed funding round from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle and Madrona Venture Group.

Yoodli is a spin-out of the institute’s incubator program, also known as AI2. Two of the founders, Varun Puri and Esha Joshi, are AI2 resident entrepreneurs. The third founder is Ehsan Hoque, co-director of the Rochester Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Rochester.

All three are drawing on their personal experience as they make the leap into the startup world. Puri, for example, grew up in India, ran special projects at Alphabet, and led operations in Africa for a GoogleX connectivity initiative. He saw many cases where smart technicians did not get the recognition they deserved because they struggled to communicate effectively.

“The reason I started this was to help that child at home in India or Kenya to access opportunities that they might not otherwise have access to due to the way they speak or how they present something, regardless of your technical skills, “he told GeekWire. “That is definitely the goal of the North Star.”

Joshi said the problem can be particularly daunting for women in tech.

“As an engineer in a male-dominated industry, I felt like I had to try even harder to get people to take me seriously,” Joshi, who spent several years at Apple and is Yoodli’s chief technology officer, said in a press release. “The nerves and doubt before a presentation can be overwhelming, and the feeling of successfully expressing yourself in front of an audience is a great confidence booster. Our platform takes you from the nerves to the confident person you need to achieve your goals.” .

Hoque has decades of research experience building AI interfaces to enhance workforce skills. One project that is particularly relevant to Yoodli uses AI to help healthcare professionals prepare for end-of-life conversations with patients.

Yoodli’s software platform records users as they deliver their presentations, and then pinpoints where they could speak more clearly, reduce “ums” and other filler words, and improve their use of eye contact and gestures. Users can also request feedback from colleagues and connect with an expert coach.


Software versions can be customized for a wide range of applications. “They help people prepare for any substantive conversation, whether it’s talking to a journalist, a salary negotiation, a job interview or a difficult date,” Puri said.

Puri acknowledged that she used the software to prepare for her interview with GeekWire. “He gives me a lot of feedback on my verbal and non-verbal communication: my posture, gestures, tone, tone, enlonciación, when I go a little fast, where I emphasize things and so on,” she said. We are still testing various elements of speech that would be worth giving feedback on. ”

So far, the Yoodli team has been testing the first prototypes with just a few users. Starting today, the team is opening the waiting list for people to sign up for beta testing. “Right now, we are just trying to optimize learning and experimentation,” Puri said. He expects a commercial product to be available in early 2022.

Yoodli may sound suspiciously like Hooli, the fictional tech company from the HBO series “Silicon Valley,” but Puri cites a different source for the name.

“Yoodli is a pun on ‘yodel,’ which is a voice exercise used by most speech coaches,” she said in an email. “We think Yoodli has a fun and catchy ring and represents our playful company culture (try saying Yoodli quickly three times, you’ll end up smiling). We are helping people overcome their biggest fear, so the brand has to sound and feel Cozy. In fact, we call our employees “yoodlers.”

And the ranks of yoodlers are growing, thanks in part to the $ 1 million increase. “I’m not going to go into numbers, because people are still in the middle of joining,” Puri said.

“We are trying to find amazing AI engineers and developersfull-stack, “he said,” and if you’re interested in working at the intersection of NLP [natural language processing], speech, and computer vision, we’re a very fast-growing, scratchy little team that’s backed by some big players in the Pacific Northwest. ”

Matt McIlwain, CEO of Madrona, said Yoodli offers “a tremendous opportunity to use AI as a way to enhance human cognitive and social skills.”

“We like to support exciting teams from day one, and this team has the passion, technical and industry expertise that inspires us to come to work every day,” said McIlwain. “And give introductions!”

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información.plugin cookies

Aviso de cookies