Is This Thing On? SpeakerRate Helps Speakers Get Honest Feedback

The tech event season is beginning to heat up. If you’re a speaker, you know that standing in front of a crowd isn’t half as hard as getting critical feedback on your talks. People who disliked it will generally remain silent or opt for a snarky tweet or two. Those close to you will tell you “You did great!” no matter how poorly you performed. Getting the feedback you need to improve can be the most difficult part of the whole process. Until now. Meet SpeakerRate.

SpeakerRate is designed to help you promote the talks you’re giving – and get that critical feedback you’re seeking. Simply register for an account, complete your profile, and start loading up your upcoming talks. You’ll be given the option to add other speakers, a link to your slides, and the event page corresponding to your talk. You can even anchor the talk to a larger event if you’re speaking at a conference.

For those providing feedback, the app is just as easy. All they have to do is follow the link the speaker provides at the end of the talk (hint, hint) or visit SpeakerRate and search by speaker or event. Each talk has two ratings: Delivery and Content. Dragging sliders allows the respondent to rate the talk on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the best. There’s also a text area for providing specific feedback on the talk.

Even though the application only recently launched, it’s already filled with some interesting content. Current event Webstock 2009, which is being held in Wellington, NZ, until February 20, had a number of talks loaded into the system.

With multiple talks from the same event, users also gain access to an aggregate event rating. This is helpful for attendees or potential attendees to get a reading on conferences. And it helps speakers determine how they measured up against their peers. Webstock must be going well, because it’s sitting at 4.07 overall, currently.

Upside? The app is easy to use and it boasts a very pleasant UI. Every turn brings some thoughtful AJAX elements that bring the app to life. The sliders, for example, provide context for the numerical ratings – on “Delivery,” 0 is “Just awful” while 5 is “Awesome presenter!”

Downside? One thing that was bit strange occurs immediately following registration. When you return to the site to validate your account, you’re immediately hit with a page pushing you to add SpeakerRate to your LinkedIn profile. Given that we hadn’t even tried the product yet, we felt they were moving a little fast. So we skipped it. Our profile continued to admonish us for having skipped the step. A little guilt goes a long way.

All in all, we’re big fans of facilitating honest feedback, so we really liked the focus and intent of SpeakerRate. Even the slightly spammy LinkedIn element didn’t turn us off – because it seemed to be coming from the right place.

If you’re interested in getting some honest feedback on your next speaking gig, you might want to give SpeakerRate a shot.

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