In James Payne’s estimation, the LikeSo Speech App paid for itself over 7200 times!

James is a debate teacher & coach at Enreach Education, Pudongxin District, Shanghai, China. Read his amazing letter here… 

I need to send a few words of gratitude to the people at Say It Media for creating the public speaking app, LikeSo: Your Personal Speech Coach!  Not only for helping my students compete and win at speech competitions, but also for being the best investment I ever made!

I first downloaded the app on my iPhone in January of 2017 after reading a brief description on The National Speech and Debate website.  I’ve been a member of that honor society since 1976, and I was currently working as a teacher and coach at a large high school in South Florida.  Since it was new, the app only cost me 99 cents.  It has been worth so much more than that to me.  Here’s why… 

A winning learning tool for my speech students:

As I started playing with the app on my iPhone, I realized that it offered a great learning tool for my speech students.  Many were struggling with crutch words and verbal pauses, and my honors level courses carried a competition requirement, meaning my students were having to go to tournaments and represent our school.  

To be honest, they were sort of making us look bad.  Then I let the kids start playing with the LikeSo app on my iPad.  A few started viewing their scores as personal challenges, and they dedicated themselves to improving their speaking through the app.  Many of those kids started winning rounds at tournaments!  They had tangible, physical evidence that their work with this app had helped them greatly.

The highest score possible in professional evaluation and a BIG bonus:

Once a year, I schedule a formal observation of my teaching for my official professional evaluation.  Raises and bonuses are on the line, linked to these evaluations.  I decided to take a risk and invite my administrator to a class where I would just use the LikeSo app.  She arrived and started my observation.  I spent three minutes showing the class how the “TalkAbout” function worked. I asked everyone to select the “Topic” of their choice (from Debate Team to Teen Scene to The College Interview), select 30 seconds, and select “Listen for All Words.”  I sat down and started calling out roster numbers. 

One by one my students came up to the podium, pressed the 4 buttons necessary to start the exercise, and give it their best shot.  Everyone clapped after each speech, and I simply sat at my desk and entered the letter grade and SQPs (Speech Quality Points) from the app into my grade book.  The class went without a hitch, though I can’t really say I spent much of the time teaching. 

When I got the evaluation report, my administrator had given me the highest score possible in many, many categories, namely “innovative.”  When the numbers were all added up and combined with the standardized test scores from my students, I was fortunate enough to earn the coveted “Highly Effective” teacher label and earned $7200 in bonus money distributed in a lump sum the day before our Spring Break started the following year.  That means this app has paid for itself over 7200 times!

Now teaching in Shanghai, LikeSo continues to make me look good.  

I now teach speech and debate for a small private education company in Shanghai, China.  Our public speaking courses rely on an instructor to appropriately place students in the appropriate level of course.  Because we offer  nine different courses in speech and debate, this can be somewhat tricky.  But by using the app in an interview situation, I can better gauge the actual speaking ability of each child.  My interviews and demonstration classes also enjoy a higher level of sales, so my company is making more money because of the way I use this app to make them look good.

So to all of the people at Say It Media, especially the founder and CEO Audrey Mann Cronin, I send my heartfelt thanks.  You’ve given this old dog a new trick that makes me appear really special, though I know anyone could do it. 

James Payne

Debate Teacher & Coach at Enreach Education, Pudongxin District, Shanghai, China

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