Association of Talent Development ATD Learn St. Louis Conference

Talent development professionals have a choice to learn how to program voice assistants or soon be programmed by them.  It’s part of the Voice First movement that is creeping into every classroom of those who understand the scalable nature, consistent messaging, and training delivery techniques that now appear in the format of a conversational bot.

At the Learn St. Louis Conference hosted by the Association for Talent Development St. Louis group, those responsible for the learning function were exposed to ideas never thought possible, especially because less than 5% said they owned a smart speaker.

@dougdevitre from @VoiceXPInc shares the power of #voicefirst technology @ATDSTL 2017 Conference.… Click To Tweet

Some key takeaways participants mentioned included:

  • Programming frequently asked questions into Amazon Alexa.
  • Repurposing the office policy into a conversational format.
  • Developing an unconscious level of competence of language with leaders to reinforce in communications.

ATD Amazon Alexa Skill

One deliverable the ATD St. Louis chapter received was their own Amazon Alexa Skill to share the benefits of joining, participation, and the value propositions from its affiliation.


Think of Amazon Alexa as its own learning management system.  All of the content created by human resources can now be repurposed into a conversational format which is much more natural and easier than point/click behavior on a computer screen.

VoiceXP can Help Your Business Embark on the Voice Experience™ Technology Journey 

VoiceXP is dedicated to helping businesses not just leverage the possibilities of voice, but become market leaders in their respective industry. VoiceXP creates custom Voice Experiences™  for the best brands in the world, learn how.

Contact one of our Voice Ambassadors Today!

 The Brightest Minds in Voice Experience Unite

On August 31st VoiceXP organized a live Voice Experience Disruption at Venture Cafe, in St. Louis, Mo. 

Voice technology is changing the way people do business, and its impact will only continue to grow. Analysts predict that 30% of web browsing will be screenless in 2020, and that voice technology will be a $10 Billion dollar business.  The event cultivated great conversations between some of the brightest minds in voice, and there is a lot to discuss, as the use cases and market for voice technology grows.

The Brightest Minds in #Voice Experience Unite! #voicefirst Click To Tweet

The forum of experts included:

Nandini Stocker, Head of Conversation Design and Advocacy & Partnerships @Google

Now head of Conversation Design Advocacy and Partnerships at Google, Nandini has created voice experiences for over 17 years in 60+ languages and 120+ countries. She is passionate about helping people find help and creating an ecosystem of creative technologists to unlock the future of truly enabling interfaces that honor the core, evolved power of human communication.

Bradley Metrock, CEO of Score Publishing and podcast

His companies have the mission of helping people become better interactive content creators. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the company is the home of both The Alexa Conference (Jan 18-20) andVoiceFirst.FM, a media network for the new era of voice-first computing.

Bob Stolzberg, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer @VoiceXP

Bob is the Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of VoiceXP, a St. Louis based enterprise software as a service company. VoiceXP provides the worlds best brands and businesses with the complete enterprise Voice Experience.

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Amazon Alexa Educates on Teenage Depression

In our Amazon Alexa Skill of the Week series, we generally highlight applications and skills for businesses. In this weeks series, we are highlighting a skill that was created to help benefit a great foundation which is raising awareness around an important social issue,  teenage depression and anxiety.

Drew Firment and Terren Peterson collaborated to develop the Speak Up Amazon Alexa Skill, for the Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation.  The mission of the foundation is to fulfill Cameron’s dream and legacy by being a positive force that works to cultivate awareness and understanding of teenage depression and anxiety. You can learn more about Cameron’s inspiring story here.

Alexa Skill of the Week

The Speak Up Skill currently has the following functionality:

  • You can say, give me a quote and I will read an inspirational quote.
  • You can say, play Cameron’s song and I will play a song that is a tribute to Cameron Gallagher.
  • You can say, give me a minute of mindfulness and I will help you relax.
  • You can say what are upcoming events, and I will list you what events the foundation has on the calendar.
 Leverage the Power of Voice for a Great Cause
#Amazon #Alexa Educates on Teenage Depression. #socialgood #voice Click To Tweet

Drew Firment and Terren Peterson have both committed to donating $1 for each 0f the first 100 users that try the skill, and VoiceXP will match their commitment!

To learn more or to download the Speak Up Skill, visit the site here or it can be activated via the Alexa app, available for both Apple and Android.  From there you can simply say “Alexa enable Speak Up” and make a positive impact for a great cause!

Alexa Champions Make History During a Meetup with the Echo Show

In a first-of-its-kind event, two Meetups 1,500 miles apart communicated face-to-face using only the power of Amazon Alexa and the Echo Show device. When the evening was through, 3 Alexa Champions had used the video calling feature of the Echo Show to connect the Phoenix and St. Louis Alexa Meetups and to provide a remote presentation.

The idea of the two Meetups using the Echo Show to gap the distance and have a combined Meetup experience came from Bob Stolzberg, founder of the Alexa Meetup in St. Louis, Missouri. Bob wanted to hold this event back in June when the Echo Show device was first shipped to customers, but the device arrived too late for the Meetup. I know Bob because we are both Alexa Champions and now we work together at VoiceXP.

#Alexa Champions Make History During a #meetup with the #Echo show! Click To Tweet

I am the founder of the Alexa Meetup in Phoenix, Arizona and the topic for August was the Echo Show. We thought this would be a great month to connect the Meetups. So, on August 24th, 2017 at 6pm MST/8pm CDT we made the call. The members of the Phoenix Meetup were still arriving and some members from the St. Louis Meetup had already left, but we had a great experience as we clearly communicated with the Echo Show.

Andrea Bianco is an Alexa Champion specializing in the smart home and is also a member of the Phoenix Alexa Meetup. She lives 100 miles south of Phoenix near Tucson, Arizona. Andrea was unable to drive to the Meetup that night, but as part of the discussion we gave Andrea a call. She taught us how to use the Echo Show to talk with family and friends including the drop-in calling feature.

We are grateful to our sponsors: DriveTime, Alexa Champions, and VoiceXP for helping us make history!

Join a Voice Tech Meetup Near You

If you are interested in the exciting voice technology space and want to learn how to create Alexa skills or just want a forum to rub elbows with others who are passionate about the voice space, joining a local voice tech Meetup is a great start.

Voice enabled technology is changing the world and this is your ground floor opportunity to get involved!

Galvanize Phoenix Hosts Successful Amazon Alexa Developer Workshop

When Amazon teamed with Galvanize to train Alexa developers, they made a great choice.

The first of these workshops was presented by Galvanize Phoenix on August 26, 2017 – just 2 weeks after the announcement was made. Hats off to Chris Huie, John Armbruster, and the rest of the Galvanize Phoenix team for pulling off a successful workshop.

I have a passion to help developers and designers succeed with Amazon Alexa development. I know what it is like to hit the learning curve of Alexa development and AWS after facing it a year ago after decades of development with Microsoft technology. It is the reason I started the Phoenix Alexa Meetup, why I have been so involved with the developer community, and the main reason that I was selected in May 2017 to be an Alexa Champion. It is also the reason that I volunteered to be a resource and help at the recent Alexa Workshop at Galvanize.

There were approximately 40 participants who showed up for the Saturday morning workshop and that was without any real promotion for the event. Originally, there was only going to be one classroom but after bringing in more tables it was decided that Chris and John would split the attendees into two groups. I spent most of the time in the classroom with John and he did a wonderful job presenting the course material. He knows software development and is very approachable. When I visited Chris’s class a little later, I could tell that he had a great understanding of the coursework too. Chris has a positive attitude and rolled with the situation and any challenges. It is clear that he loves what he is doing.

When #Amazon teamed with Galvanize to train #AmazonAlexa developers, they made a great choice.… Click To Tweet

Participants started from zero and created both an Amazon Developer Console and AWS login. The course was a good mix of overview slides, Q&A, and workshops. During the hands-on tutorials, John and I spent time answering questions and occasionally getting developers unstuck. There was a lot of positive energy in the room and the class members had lots of questions about the current state and future direction of voice-first technology. What a great group of attendees.

Galvanize Phoenix has more Alexa Workshops scheduled for each remaining month of 2017. The next workshop is scheduled for September 19, 2017 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm and I plan to be there as a volunteer. Check out the Galvanize Phoenix events calendar for upcoming Alexa Workshops and to continue the learning, attend the monthly Phoenix Alexa Meetup. For those in other areas, check out your local Galvanize location and find an Alexa Meetup near you.

I wish continued success for this Amazon and Galvanize partnership and that class participants go on to create amazing skills for the Alexa platform. It is an exciting time to jump into the booming voice technology industry.

Attend our VoiceXP office hours every week!

05sep12:00 pm1:00 pmWhat's Hot in VUI? VoiceXP Office Hours

Veteran Training Begins at CoderVets to Fill Need in Tech Space

The CoderVets program kicked off on August 25th at the University of Missouri St. Louis North Campus. 

Over 40 U.S. military veterans embarked on their new training with CoderVets, a non-profit organization giving veterans free training in coding and software development.  The first day of class also provided the media with an inside look into the training course and interview opportunities with the veterans.

The first class was lead by CoderVets’ founder, Stuart Ashby, with an appearance by Bob Stolzberg, the Chief Innovation Officer of VoiceXP, an innovative St. Louis company creating apps, or “Skills” for Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, & Google Home.

The Perfect Mix

After serving five years in the United States Navy, including the period after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, Stuart Ashby went on to a successful career as a software developer. After well over a decade in the industry, which included a period mentoring for the renowned LaunchCode program, Ashby saw a need for his fellow veterans. His technical training in the service had led to a successful career outside, and he wanted to provide the same chance for others.

Veteran Training Begins at CoderVets to Fill Need in Tech Space Click To Tweet

A clear need for sustainable employment for veterans and the booming technology industry has opened numerous opportunities in the workforce, creating the perfect mix; veterans who need jobs and an industry that needs highly skilled workers.

Ashby has been prepping the program for several months, which will include MIT computer science course work material. He has also been recruiting businesses to come in and place his graduates once the the classes commence. Along with VoiceXP,  Boeing, Monsanto, and the State of Missouri are among others who have expressed interest in interviewing the CoderVets once they are trained.

Watch as Bob Stolzberg talks to Fox2 News about the opportunity for these veterans to embark on the exciting journey into the voice technology space.

Check out our Next Event with Voice Experience™ Thought Leaders

31aug6:30 pm7:30 pmVoice Experience Disruption at Venture CafeHear from Voice Experience industry thought leaders.

february, 2018

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