We spend roughly 80% of any regular workday communicating, whether it is in person, over the phone, texting or via email. We all spend much more time than we would like sitting in meetings and making presentations. Keeping your audience captive is no easy task, especially in our day and age where people have very limited attention spans. This said, most would agree that being a good communicator is a key factor of success in the business world (and life in general). What if every word and gesture you used impacted the market valuation and reputation of your company? This is most probably the case for C-suite executives of publicly traded companies.
But how do we get better at communication skills? The most traditional approach would dictate hiring a personal coach. However, this poses serious limitations with regards to offering hard, empirical data to analyze performance and recommend a course of action. A coach’s analysis and pointers would be mostly based on subjective observations and, in any case, it is hardly possible to offer a personal coach to every person in your organization in order to improve communication skills.
Enter Quantified Communications, the communication skills platform that aims to help organizations cultivate extraordinary communicators at every level. Technological advances have made it possible to accurately measure how well someone communicates. So, through their work with over 100 Fortune 50 C-Suite leaders and more than 160,000 individuals, Quantified has developed a AI powered technology platform that accurately assesses, develops, and improves an organization’s employees’ communication effectiveness, influence, and performance at any level. Quantified’s human-trained AI technology uses sight, sound, and language understanding to refine people’s communication skills. They index individual strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement, in addition to providing individualized development plans alongside real-world examples of great communication in action. If that is not enough, they also offer one-on-one coaching sessions. 
Quantified’s value creation formula is very simple: It offers a scalable, personalized, and measurable alternative that traditional communication skills training could never match. Their process is also very simple: Assess, develop, improve. To start, they give you a prompt (e.g. It is your first day at work and you must an introduce yourself to your team at a meeting) and ask you to upload a 2-10 min video. Quantified’s AI technology evaluates your video and produces a personalized report including individual strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement into personalized development plans. Finally, you improve by completing the online courses tailored to the competencies you need to develop. The results have been encouraging so far: More than 162,000 participants have averaged a 17.4% increase in their ability to influence audiences (QC Score), in just 6 months.
With regards to value capture, Quantified offers three types of solution tailored to different audiences: Enterprise Learning, Executive Communication, and People Science. While the Enterprise Learning solution targets the broader organization and its employees at all levels, the Executive Communication solution targets senior leaders with more relevant skills such as media training, investor communication and strategy communication. Finally, the People Science solution goes after a different market altogether: It offers organizations such as Harvard with an alternative to assess and select candidates, in addition to predict performance and provide comparative benchmarking. By following this approach, Quantified is aiming to capture a considerable part of a large but highly fragmented market estimated to be worth over $10 billion.
Given that this space is new, the challenges and opportunities present are numerous. AI and algorithms are still considered by many as a “black box” that is not to be trusted when the study subjects are human beings. Can machines really understand how we communicate, evaluate our performance, and provide tailored recommendations to improve? Quantified claims this to be the case, and is arguably producing good results, but they are not doing a good job at generating trust. The way their algorithms are built is pretty gray and the inputs that go into them unclear. Yes, they mention that their AI is powered by their “work with over 100 Fortune 50 C-Suite leaders and more than 160,000 individuals”, but machine learning is only as good as its inputs. Who are these people? What are their demographics? Which industries? Why are they considered good communicators? All of this information remains unclear, which is why the solutions offered might produce skepticism with potential clients. Is there bias baked into the algorithm? The only way to assess this would be to really understand what is powering this technology. Quantified should do a better job in educating customers about this, and this would in turn result in a higher level of trust and adoption.
Quantified is paving the way for the future of communication skills training, but the road ahead remains long and windy.