What is the difference between rating and evaluating?

The dictionary definitions of the words rate, evaluate, and rank are:

  • Rate [Merriam-Webster dictionary]: "to determine or assign the relative rank or class of : grade"
  • Rate [World English Dictionary]: "to assign or receive a position on a scale of relative values"
  • Rating [Merriam-Webster dictionary]: "a classification according to order or grade; ranking" and "relative estimate or evaluation : standing"
  • Rating [World English Dictionary]: "a classification according to order or grade; ranking"
  • Evaluate [Merriam-Webster dictionary]: "to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study"
  • Evaluate [World English Dictionary]: "to judge or assess the worth of; appraise"
  • Rank [Merriam-Webster dictionary]: "to determine the relative position of"

In the Rate Speeches website, we use these terms as follows:

  • Rank: to assign relative ranking of speeches (speech rankings) or speakers (speaker rankings) in a specific event.  For example, in an event with 10 speakers, ranking will assign first place to one speaker, second place to another speaker, etc.
  • Rate: to assign a relative ranking to a speech (speech rating), presentation (presentation rating), speaker (speaker rating), or presenter (presenter rating), based on four criteria: content, delivery, visuals, and overall.  Rating may be done by anyone, regardless of the degree of knowledge and experience in public speaking and presentation skills.  It may be done by laypersons, audience members, meeting presentation participants, conference attendees, viewers of video recordings of speeches and presentations, etc.  The rater may include a review or additional notes and comments about the speech, presentation, speaker, or presenter.
  • Evaluate: to assess, critique, judge, analyze, or provide detailed feedback about a speech or presentation based on a large set of criteria.  Evaluation is generally performed by a person with knowledge and skills in public speaking or presentation skills, such as public speaking, presentation skills, communication, and speech-debate instructors, professors, teachers, trainers, coaches, students, etc.