Social Sign On & Account Verification
Key to the success of SpeakerRate is the ability for users to easily rate and comment on talks. Equally important is the integrity of user feedback and the subsequent need to tie actions to user accounts. Yesterday we deployed an array of social sign on features that we hope will achieve both these goals. Users can now access SpeakerRate with their Facebook, Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn...
A New App & Spam Measures
When SpeakerRate started getting decent organic search rankings, the spammers took notice and have been hitting our site hard ever since. A couple of months ago we made a number of tweaks to our spam filter to help catch spam comments and speakers. This afternoon we deployed changes that restrict the use of URLs throughout the site. As of now an entry will be marked as invalid if it contains a...
It’s been a while since we jumped on the SpeakerRate blog. We’ve been positively distracted by other billable pursuits, but thankfully have been digging into the app recently and making some much needed bug fixes. Some of our users experienced an over active spam filter that was designating all talks created on SpeakerRate as spam. We have made several tweaks over the past month and the filter is...
Happy Holidays from SpeakerRate; New Homepage and...
For some time, the SpeakerRate team has been planning and working on a new homepage and dashboard for registered users. We believed the homepage should more accurately portray the value of SpeakerRate for event organizers, speakers, and attendees as well as provide more relevant information such as upcoming events and talks, along with recent activity on the site. With these goals in mind, we set...
Spam Spam Spam
Spam. It’s the cause of nightmares and cold sweats for online communities big and small. For some time, SpeakerRate operated with little interest from people looking to get quick SEO ups for websites selling Gucci bags and Air Jordan shoes. Sadly that time came to an end, and an all out war had begun. After working through many different anti-spam measures, we believe we’ve finally won...
Recent Updates to the Mobile Site
Over the past few weeks, the SpeakerRate team has been busy making updates to the mobile site. What’s that, you say? You didn’t even know SpeakerRate had a mobile site? Of course it does. Pull up the site on your iPhone (or any mobile device with a WebKit browser) or simply head to iSpeakerRate to have a look. Prior to last week, you could only rate talks using the mobile...
Giving a Talk More Than Once?
Until this point on SpeakerRate, if you have given the same talk multiple times at different events or locations, you have had to enter all your information over again for each talk. But thanks to some valuable feedback from users and a speedy development team, that is no longer the case. Any user will now have the ability to duplicate their own talk and enter any new information such as date and...
Talk Rating and Comment Widget Released
For some time, the SpeakerRate team has been working on how to make rating and commenting on talks accessible for more users. Last month we saw access and activity open up by no longer requiring registration for rating or commenting on talks. Today, we take a step further. For any talk, you will now be able to export rating and commenting functionality to your own site. This is a feature that...
Account Registration No Longer Required
One of SpeakerRate’s goals is to increase participation in talk and event feedback to improve everyone’s overall experience. For some time we’ve been working to increase this participation rate, and today, we’ve taken a step further. Account registration will no longer be required to rate or comment on talks. While complete registration is still encouraged, we only ask for...
Impromptu Speaking: Best Practices (Part 2)
Impromptu speaking is one of the best ways to practice thinking on your feet (refer to Part 1 of this post). There are good ways to go about prepping a speech in a limited time, and then there are bad ways. I hope to detail some of the more effective ways in this post. Using your Prep Time Wisely Time is your most scarce resource when it comes to impromptu speaking, but more specifically the...
Impromptu Speaking: Practice Thinking on your Feet...
Impromptu speaking skills are coveted by the masses, if not for any other reason than to have the ability to speak on virtually anything given only a short time to prepare. While this task seems fairly trivial, the implications of being able to do such a thing are huge. Becoming a great impromptu speaker gives you great confidence, foresight on handling speech messups, a solid handle on any type...
Slap Disclaimers and Excuses in the Face
Think you’re unprepared for a speech? Feeling queasy and shaky right before starting your talk? You probably think the best next step is to let your audience know that this may not be a good talk and that you’re unprepared, because we all like having realistic expectations right? WRONG. Starting your speech with a disclaimer is probably the worst thing you can do. Your audience will...
Increased Control Over Events and Series
In the need to update your event or series details? Decide to create a series for events that you’ve already loaded into SpeakerRate? Now the creator of each event and series has the ability to edit and update their already added details. Happy editing!
Interview with Dave Troy of TEDxOilSpill
Dave Troy is an event organizer extraordinaire, having organized everything from TEDx conferences to Barcamps. He is most known for his work in organizing TEDxMidAtlantic and the recent TEDxOilSpill in New York City. I recently had the privilege of picking his brain about his organizing process and challenges. The following is a transcription of a paraphrased interview. [Z] Hey Dave, thanks for...
Hooking Your Audience
The first 30 seconds of your talk can make or break you. This part of your talk can be referred to as your “hook.” Looking at it as an analogy, all of your audience members are fish (we’ll say bass, maybe a few catfish) swimming aimlessly in the sea. Your objective is to attract them all to the same point and reel them in. With some attractive bait and a well positioned hook, it’s possible to do...
How to Leave Testimonials
Testimonials are a great way to recommend a speaker to the speaking community. Speakers with testimonials on their profile will be more likely to land speaking gigs. This video shows you how quick and easy it is.
Short URLs Now Available
Looking for an easy way to give your attendees a way to rate your talk? Short URLs are now available and displayed on every speaker, talk, event, and series page on SpeakerRate. Happy Tweeting!
Interview with Mark Mzyk of TEDxRTP
I recently had the privilege of speaking with Mark Mzyk, organizer of a TEDx conference in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina earlier this year, about all things event related. TEDx conferences are offshoots of the well-known TED conferences. The following transcription is a paraphrased interview. [Z] How did you arrange speakers for your conference? [M] We had a committee of people to...
Expanded Search Functionality
The team at SpeakerRate has been working hard to make your search experience easier and more straightforward. We have rolled out expanded search functionality which allows non-exact matching and excerpt highlighting. This should make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. Check it out; feedback is always welcome.
Ummm: The Use of Filler Words
“Um, well, ya know, like, consequently, so, uh, know what I mean?” Does this sound familiar? It’s called using “filler” words or saying everything without really saying anything. It is the weakness of many brilliant people when it comes to giving presentations. So what’s the problem with filler words? Don’t they make pauses less awkward? The answer is no,...
How to Rate and Comment
Rating and commenting creates the wide database of information that makes SpeakerRate such a useful tool. This video shows how to quickly use these features to rate and comment on talks.
Tip: Packaging Your Talk - Say it 3 Times
Giving a talk in front of tons of people is tough. Keeping your audience interested is even tougher. Thankfully, there are ways to frame your talk to automatically hold better attention, no matter the topic. The method can be summed up in one phase: “Say what you’re going to say, say it, and then say it again.” So basically, three steps: 1. Say what you’re going to say ...
How to Create a Talk, Event & Series
One of the basic and most useful functions of SpeakerRate is the ability for speakers and event organizers to create talks, events, and series. This video shows how quick and easy SpeakerRate makes it.
The Future of SpeakerRate
Coming in as the new Product Manager Intern, I couldn’t be more excited about jumping in headfirst and helping take SpeakerRate to where it belongs: stardom. Maybe it won’t become the next Facebook just yet, but it has the potential to bring the public speaking industry to a new level. Whether you fully know why SpeakerRate has so much potential or not, you may be asking: where is SpeakerRate...
New Blog & Product Intern
Over the past few months SpeakerRate’s traffic has been increasing, we’ve received more feedback in GetSatisfaction, more tweets, and more comments submitted directly from the site. The feedback has ranged from feature requests to partnership inquiries with conference organizers (and fortunately not too many rants!). To keep up we are bringing on our first product intern. Zach will be...