Bursts of applause or cricket-chirping silence. Those are the only tangible indicators of whether the audience likes a talk they attend or not — unless you ask them. An obvious conclusion that public speaker and Internet psychologist Anders Colding quickly reached.
But from there, it got complicated: “The process of evaluating a talk had so many obstacles so most of the time getting feedback never happened. If I eventually received feedback collected at a conference or event, it was really general,” says Colding.
“My craving for detail wasn’t satisfied and most importantly, I couldn’t compare it to anything I’d done before or might do in the future.”
The solution that begged to be built
After identifying the need for a better system, Anders Colding scoured the Internet for existing solutions.
"It seemed to me that a satisfying solution would be really simple to build, but amazingly nobody seemed to had done it."
Lots of solutions exists for creating on-line questionnaires,
but they are a lot of work, the forms are ugly, and — most importantly — you can not easily compare your results from talk to talk.
So a decision was made and SpeakerScore came into being.
The right questions
The first hurdle was coming up with the right questions to ask.
“I began talking to communication experts, conference organizers, public speakers, and other psychologists about what feedback they looked for. What basic questions would provide a 360-degree insight into the audience experience?”
After testing numerous questions on a wide variety of audiences and talks, he arrived upon the ‘Big Four’ — four universal questions
needed to evaluate any talk or lecture.
“People are paralyzed by the many options of what to ask. They get overwhelmed by trying to create their own evaluation in SurveyMonkey or Google Forms. We found that what you really need to measure are these four parameters: Did the talk meet your expectations? Was it interesting? Was it valuable? How was it presented?”
By answering these questions on a scale from 0 to 100, the speaker receives a SpeakerScore that can be easily compared to other SpeakerScores – both his own as well others.
A new standard
“SpeakerScore is the new standard for public speaking. Just like an athlete uses a stop watch
to benchmark his performance, a speaker now has a reliable way to measure how well he did and where to improve. An event organizer can see his best speakers and find out what take-aways the audience felt they received,” explains the SpeakerScore founder. He also emphasizes that the audience can add personal comments and “badges
” to their evaluation.
“What kind of speaker are you? A storyteller? A teacher? An expert? The badges add additional layers to your SpeakerScore and let you know how you’re perceived.”
Having solved what questions to ask, next obstacles were how to share the evaluation form with the audience, collect the feedback and analyze it.
“I was surprised to see how often evaluations in paper form are still distributed then painstakingly entered into spreadsheets manually. We wanted to streamline that process without being too geeky, clunky, or complicated,” says Colding whose solution is presented as a shortcode or a link that the speaker shares with the audience during the talk or online.
By entering a shortcode at www.speakerscore.com or clicking on an online link, the audience is taken directly to the evaluation form. They can do the quick evaluation on their smartphone or tablet before they even leave the room.
“People feel uncomfortable raising their hand telling you what they honestly thought of your talk. But what we’ve experienced with SpeakerScore is that the audience loves to share their feedback – if they can do so quickly, easily, and in a ‘not in your face kind of way,’ says Colding.
“Incentivizing feedback by offering the audience access to the slides and video from the talk is also a tool we offer speakers to ensure high response rates. It’s all about providing that value add experience – both to the audience, the speaker and the event organizer.”
SpeakerScore offers a revolutionary solution for public speakers around the world. Finally, there is a quick, easy way to get immediate feedback on your talks without sifting through piles of paper or tediously inputting data into a spreadsheet.