Creating Effective Speaker Evaluations

As one of the world’s foremost speakers bureaus, WSB knows what it takes to deploy an effective speaking program. As an event professional, if you’ve been disappointed with the keynotes and session speakers at a conference or event, one of the best courses of action is to create an effective speaker evaluation to get the right feedback from your attendees and use the information to your advantage for your next event.

Is your audience feedback telling you to find new and exciting speakers for your next event? Start here.

The need for solid audience feedback is a vital element of successful events–even during highly successful events with a stellar speaking lineup. The best speakers will always want to hear from their audiences about what aspects of their presentation are working and areas they may want to tweak or eliminate. This is particularly true when a speaker has a new topic for a presentation they are trying out for the first time. The same holds true for event pros — even if you’ve just pulled off an amazing event, great audience feedback will give you the tools you need to continue enhancing and refining your speaking program for continued success.

There are a number of approaches to implementing effective evaluations; here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

The Old-Fashioned Way

There’s a reason event organizers are still using paper handouts to collect feedback: this tried and true method will still yield results. The best advice here is to keep it simple. Smaller sheets or cards with only a few brief, easy-to-answer questions about the presentation. Ask audiences to apply qualitative results for feedback that is easy to measure and analyze. Additionally, provide an optional section for written testimonials–these will be useful in your future event marketing should you invite the speaker back for future events and would like to spread the word!

Use Your Event Tech

Event apps have become fairly ubiquitous, why not put them to work for securing more responses for your speaker evaluations? Attendees will already be using their smart phones to navigate the conference, find local restaurant options, and more, so why not use it to gather testimonials and ratings for speakers? Many event apps offer the ability for users to give feedback on events and speakers, and this will make the data collection process slightly easier,with no need to manually enter data collected on speaker evaluation cards.

Real Time Data

Additionally, using online sources for collecting evaluations will provide the events team with real-time data on how an event is unfolding. Use positive ratings and testimonials to amplify positive discussions surrounding your event on social media, or keep a running banner with positive feedback on your event website. An attendee’s endorsement of your speaking program is one of the best tools you’ll have for marketing an event for years to come, there’s no reason to hold off on creating an effective word of mouth campaign online.


Add Some Stakes

Looking at evaluations through the eyes of your busy attendees is a helpful approach. What compels you to fill out comment cards, whether at a conference or in any situation? One option is to add some stakes, whether for your speakers or the attendees themselves. For example, some events will invite the speaker from their lineup with the best evaluations to return the following year to deliver a keynote, or receive some other form of special recognition. Additionally, you may gamify the evaluation process by offering prizes or special offers to attendees willing to take the time to return evaluation forms.

No matter how you’re gathering audience data, if you need the highest caliber voices for your event stage, you can turn to WSB–request a custom list of speakers for your next event today.


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