Grammarly for Presentations
Launched out of the Kellogg School of Management, Rhetoric seeks to re-imagine presentation coaching for a digital world by combining real-time AI guidance with asynchronous feedback from selected peers and mentors within the user's network.
The process starts when the user uploads their presentation slides and records her audio/video into the tool whereby the AI programming will provide live analysis on each slide and will thereafter produce a scorecard on the key visual and speech improvement points such as pace, tone, energy, and usage of filler-words.
With one click, the presenter can then share a personalized code with her chosen network of friends, mentors, and peers. These reviewers can access the interface at anytime and are able to provide their commentary via written or audio modality for each slide.
This asynchronous social method of feedback focuses on the user's content and narrative to complement the technical reporting from Rhetoric's robotic tool, which ultimately provides the presenter with a comprehensive assessment of their most important presentations - all in one easy to access place.
The combination of AI and social feedback is what differentiates Rhetoric from any available tool. While some interfaces such as Loom or Microsoft's "Practice" tools can provide limited robotic feedback, those critiques are limited in scope and provide no corresponding social component. Conversely, offerings like Vimeo that do have a human feedback element are limited in the modality in which said feedback is offered and lack the technical nature of Rhetoric's AI tool.
Raman Malik worked in Data Science for 6 years - the majority of which were in the growth team at Lyft where he ultimately ended up on the product team that examined key initiatives and ran various experiments to test their viability. It was through this track that he eventually co-founded Lyft Pink - the subscription based model that has since become integral to the overall company.
It was during this experience at Lyft Pink that Raman had a key management insight - while his team was largely strong from an operational point of view, where they really needed mentorship was on how they ran meetings and on how to communicate their ideas. This is a major problem that pertains to every type of business professional, and the fact that these skills are becoming even more important is evidenced by estimates that over 30M PowerPoint presentations are created every single day.
Raman left Lyft to pursue his MBA at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, but this insight and the realization that the spread of the digital workplace has led to a massive expansion on available presentation data inspired him to utilize his time at school to develop a minimum viable product which he then market tested over the summer in lieu of the traditional MBA student route of pursuing an internship.
Milestones and Next Steps
In the aftermath of testing and re-testing the MVP, Raman led a successful pre-seed raise that was supported by Liquid 2, A-Star, Tango.vc, and some product executives / operator angels from Lyft, Facebook, and Y-Combinator.
The waitlist for Rhetoric is already live at Rhetoric.app, and the team will have a soft launch on December 6 with a public launch to follow in January. Their initial target market will focus on founders since startup pitches are so important yet require the presenter to showcase a lot of information in a limited amount of time. These pitches are the ideal showcase for what Rhetoric can offer and the founder community presents just the kind of market from which this idea can scale. While the secondary markets for expansion are seemingly limitless, for now, Raman is focused on helping every founder crush their next pitch.
Raman can be reached at Raman@rhetoric.app. He is currently looking to hire a Founding Engineer.