Earlier this year I had the opportunity to work with my excellent colleagues Rosa Fox and Lucy Carey on a series of workshops to help get more underrepresented people in tech into public speaking. Lucy has written an excellent blog post about it including more details about the breakdown of the course.
This is something I’m really interested in. I’ve written before about how to get more women to speak at your conference and shared resources on getting started with conference speaking, so I was really happy to help with it.
The main thing that I want people to realise is that everyone has something interesting to speak about (or blog about). Jessica Ivins has written a great post about this. You know a lot of things that other people don’t know and would find interesting.
The topics that came out of the first workshop were many and varied, including a deeper dive into one aspect of a project someone was working on, advice about how to make it as a project manager, developing junior developers (which Emma Beynon went on to give at Brighton Ruby), and a day in the life of business support.
We often think we have to be expert in something in order to give a talk about it, but that’s not the case. Even in something deeply technical, you only need to be about three hours ahead of the audience, and in fact the closer you are to their level of understanding, the clearer your talk can be.
Break into public speaking got lots of interest on the back of Lucy’s post (including international attention!) and the next run of it starts next week. I really look forward to seeing where it goes next.