Catt Small on Becoming a Public Speaker

A few years back, New York City-based product designer Catt Small gave herself the challenge of learning how to propose talks and speak at tech and gaming conferences across the United States. And within just a year, she did it!

Now, Catt is sharing what she learned in a series of posts on how to become a public speaker in one year. The first three parts are already up, with tips on how to gain enough confidence to start your public-speaking journey, find speaking opportuities, and generate interesting talk ideas.

If you make a mistake while speaking, don’t dwell on it. Correct yourself quickly and move on. Even feel free to laugh at yourself or be honest about your situation.

Catt has some great practical advice — check it out!

Women in Tech Directory

Quibb founder Sandy MacPherson – a self-described “Canadian marooned in Silicon Valley” – is putting together a directory of women in tech. If you work in the technology sphere and are “interested in and/or are actively speaking at conferences, appearing on panels, contributing to articles, joining podcast discussions, etc.” head over and fill out the brief form to be included: http://bit.ly/w2s_surv

Make your voice heard!

Workshop at AdaCamp Montreal

I had the opportunity recently to attend AdaCamp Montreal, an “unconference” devoted to increasing women’s participation in “open technology and culture,” from Wikipedia to open-source software. While attendees were brainstorming ideas for potential sessions and workshops on the mailing list a few weeks before the event, I had a flash that this would be the perfect place to run a workshop for women thinking about getting into public speaking or wanting to improve their presentation skills. The 2.5 hour workshop time slot was perfect, so when it came time to pitch ideas on the first day of AdaCamp, I went for it.

On April 14, I ran the workshop for a group of women with varying levels of public speaking experience. They shared what’s stopped them – from feeling too busy to lack of confidence – and brainstormed the benefits of giving presentations – from being seen as an expert in your field to serving as a role model for other women. Each participant wrote up a pitch for a presentation, and they shared constructive feedback on each others’ proposals. We looked at what makes great slides, common mistakes that new speakers make, and how to handle challenging question-and-answer sessions. I had a chalk board available for the first time giving this workshop, and I took full advantage of it – fun and useful!

I look forward to seeing what these women do next in the public-speaking world.

Photos (cc 2.0) by Eva Blue. See more of her photos from AdaCamp Montreal.

People Talking WordPress Workbook Available

Members of the Vancouver WordPress community – Jill Binder, Vanessa Chu, Mandi Wise, and Kate Moore Hermes – recently ran another workshop to encourage and empower women interested in getting into speaking at events like meetups and WordCamps.

Their original workshop was the inspiration for the one we developed, and some of our material is included in the free PDF workbook the Vancouver folks have put together. It includes exercises on choosing a talk topic and writing a proposal, tips on creating great slides, and advice on becoming a better speaker, and handling post-talk Q&A. Check it out!

People Talking WordPress

Speaking Workshop at WordCamp Toronto

Following our workshop in Montreal on November 13, Kathryn Presner and Tammie Lister will head one province west to Ontario. As part of WordCamp Toronto‘s Community track we’ll give our workshop for aspiring speakers on Sunday, November 16, from 9:30 am to noon. Admission to So You Want to Be a WordCamp Speaker is free for all WordCamp attendees. While the event is sold out, unused tickets may be released before WordCamp weekend, so keep your eye out if you missed the boat.

Like all our public workshops to date, the session is geared to folks who’ve held back from submitting a talk due to nervousness, fear, imposter syndrome, or other concerns. We’ll tackle everything from writing a proposal, to dealing with stage fright and making great slides. Our aim is to inspire everyone who attends to go ahead and submit their first talk.

We look forward to meeting lots of you in Toronto and helping you make the leap from WordCamp attendee to WordCamp speaker!

 

WordCamp Toronto 2014

Get Speaking in Montreal

Kathryn and Tammie are super excited to bring So You Want to Be a WordCamp Speaker: A practical workshop for beginners to Kathryn’s hometown of Montreal on November 13, 2014.

If you’ve ever thought about speaking at a WordCamp but imposter syndrome or nerves stopped you from submitting a talk, this workshop is for you!

The session is completely free and open to all. To make sure everyone gets enough personal attention, places are limited, so register now to grab your spot.

We look forward to seeing all you aspiring WordCamp speakers from Montreal at RPM next month!