Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on May 8, 2019

Attending: @jillbinder @miriamgoldman @simo70 @amyjune



  1. Relaunching
  2. Streamlining
    1. Calendly
    2. Meetups schedule workshops before taking Train The Trainers
  3. Scheduling Train The Trainers
  4. Hashtag
  5. Short and Long Versions
  6. Roadmap
  7. Conclusion
  8. Next Actions


We are relaunching! Hooray!

As many of you know, without funding I didn’t have the bandwidth for leading the team and so we took a few months pause.

I am receiving 50% of the funding. Automattic is coming in to cover half of the time I would like to dedicate to this work. 🙂 🙂 :confetti_ball: :confetti_ball:

It is great and I am so grateful!

And so we are back!

I’m still looking for another sponsor(s) for the other half… so if you know any groups who would like to make sure that this important work continues to happen, please consider introducing us.

Another nice thing about this relaunch is a) it’s giving us a chance to reboot and improve how we were doing some things, and b) Andrea and I are making dedicated meetings for help with improving what we do and how we do it.

I’m excited to share some of those ideas with you today, and also we have some discussion points of things she and I are thinking of and we’d like feedback from you.

I propose that the items we’re looking at we start convos here and then continue convos on the P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at of this meeting after. Partly because some are big topics and partly so that we get more input from more internal and external to our team.


Updates to our Train the Trainers more streamlined process.


This is something we started talking about last year: increasing participants’ attendance rate at the Train The Trainers sessions, and reduce Trainers’ bandwidth needed by having an event management system that will:

  • allow Meetups to choose their session
  • give them an easy way to reschedule / cancel
  • give us an easy way to communicate the link and requirements
  • send out automated reminders
  • etc

I’m a big fan of this. Anything to streamline processes to make them easier, and more inuitive.

Earlier this year, I drew up a mindmap of the “MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on will help you find options in your area. Life Cycle”, from sending us a message to completion and giving feedback.

The X’s on this mindmap are what items I think we’ll be able to remove once we implement this:

How does this look? Anything else we can streamline?

If there is a way we can streamline the workshop tracker spreadsheet that would be ideal.

That’s something that Andrea and I talked about and we couldn’t come up with a solution. Using a google form loses getting people into the Helpscout email queue.
Could a google form accept 2 email addresses? A gmail and our Helpscout…?

A database driven solution would be ideal. Because we could tie in forms, track who did/ran things, etc.

Love it. What else? Please keep sending ideas!

Another couple of issues are people will be signing up in calendly tied to a Trainer’s email address, but:
a) we want to make sure that conversations stay in Helpscout, not in the trainer’s personal email, and
b) someone will need to manually tag those messages in Helpscout with who is their trainer so that trainers can still visually see who is in their event.
To continue looking at on P2 and in the future.

Meetups schedule workshop before taking Train The Trainers

Something else that we talked about briefly at the end of last year, that seems like a really good idea:

Having the meetups schedule their local Speaker Training Workshop before they book a Train The Trainers with us.

Currently the orientation about what this is and training how to do it are collapsed in the same training, which may explain why only 26% of those trained actually ran it last year, as well as low attendance in the Train The Trainers.
Can we have enough orientation online to then require they have booked a workshop with their Meetup to solve both of these?

As a quick solution for the orientation, we’ve put my 40 min (including Q&A) Seattle talk up on our form page.

This is a bigger topic that’ll require some thinking on how to do this.

Scheduling Train The Trainers

When should we start scheduling our first Train the Trainers?

I’m thinking about June so that we have time to improve processes, get Trainers trained up on new processes, and we have time to recruit a good number of folks into the first session(s).

Depending on my bandwidth before the second half of funding comes in, I may also jump back in to running Trainings so that I can start working on improving the content and delivery.

June sounds fantastic. Should we have a meeting with the current trainers separately to make sure we are all on board before resuming?

I’ve done a basic onboarding for @AmyJune, and @Bhargav, but would likely need to redo it based on new processes.

yes – i am on board to help whenever I can

Yes, absolutely. After we’ve created the systems (which might be another meeting) let’s have one to show everyone how to use it.

Maybe mid to later June so that we have the time to create those processes, try them out, learn them, teach them…?

Agreed on that timing (for personal reasons too!)

We also have more timezones covered now that our other most active trainer, @angelasjin, is moving to the other side of the world.

Bhargav is in India, so he’ll be able to help out once he’s fully up to speed

Ok. I’m going to leave when we are scheduling our next trainings as an open question on the P2 so that we can have all the current trainers discuss.

This is exciting. I’m happy we will be able to remove one of the barriers to trainings for some people, which is the time of day.

I’ll be able to contribute more to that too, as I now work from home, and workload permitting, can do some daytime trainings for those that the eastern time zone aligns better with

I imagine that we’ll be booking trainings partly on when works for trainers, and partly on the needs of our participants.
Especially once we require them to show us their booked workshop first…


New hashtag !

We are currently using #WPWomenSpeak. We’ve been wanting to change it ever since we started focusing less on just women and more all diversity early on in the project.

But it’s been a stumbling blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience. to come up with that.
Andrea’s idea, which I didn’t like at first and then I came to really like it:


I would really like to hear from the team about this.

This is great for being more inclusive.

My concern:
It sounds like all diversity projects!

The argument for that was:
Ours is currently the only diversity project in the WP Community space.
And if there are others in the future, it’s not a bad idea to have us all tagged together.
If really needed, we can always add a second tag later.

I think having one to tie all together would be alright for now

I’m liking Andrea’s idea. And the arguments for it are sound.

After we see the rest of the discussion the P2, we can create a plan for all the spots it would need to be added/changed.

Short and Long Versions

Instead of our current “playlist” of mixing and matching the 5 lessons, what do we think of just having a short version (lesson 1) and long version (all 5 lessons)?

Originally in Vancouver we had a giant workshop of all 5 lessons. The Community team leads at the time (Andrea and Jen) really wanted it to be broken down into small lessons that people could grab and run.

But to my knowledge, there’s only been 3 ways that folks have run it:

  1. Just lesson 1 (Impostor Syndrome and Finding a topic)
  2. All 5
  3. Lesson 1 and Lesson… 4? The one on being a better speaker.

I think having it as a short and long version is fantastic, and gives the organizers more flexibility, based on their needs.
Less pressure, in a sense, to try and cram all 5 lessons in
This way, it can even be a meetup topic (for the short one)

And right now I think everything feels very confusing for everyone having it in the different modules, and creates a lot of extra work for the Meetup organizers.

Also good for attendee experience

So the suggestion would be offering them both, and in the short version mention that they can always grab anything they want to add from the long version.

Yup, great suggestion

I think it would help with:

  • right now we repeat all the Impostor Syndrome items in all 5 lessons just in case someone only grabs one, and that is confusing
  • how confusing it is to put the 5 lessons together manually
  • right now the slides are a bit of a jumble to try to accommodate the different playlists
  • people have to put all 5 handbooks together
  • easier to provide just 2 Meetup descriptions instead of 5 and people need to put them together manually.
  • and more

It’ll be some work to make this happen, and completely changes the content of our Train the Trainers vieo…

Maybe we should map out what work is all needed before we do our next Training and base the first Trainings on that…

Or we could still keep the current version for the first ones so that we’re not held back…

I say both. Keep what we have so we can have forward momentum, while mapping out and working on these improvements.

I am about to create a full “all modules” version for the Speaker Training Workshop I’m doing in Vancouver in 2 weeks.

Lots of work yes, but will likely be ultimately worth it

And I will try to keep that work down to the essentials.

Request for our team: To save on our bandwidth, anytime something looks unnecessary, please call me out on it!


Andrea and I are working on a Roadmap Plan for our team, so that:

  • everyone knows the bigger picture
  • new folks can onboard
  • we stay steered in the right direction
  • we’re impactful! doing important things, not busy-work
  • we can create a marketing/promotion plan
  • we can create an editorial calendar


Open time in the last 10 min for discussion / questions / comments / obstacles / etc

I’m so happy with our results last year from trying things, and I’m really looking forward to this year (my current funding contract is until end of Apr 2020) being more impactful, effective, and easier.

And also reaching many more with a solid promotion plan!

I’m definitely looking forward to the more solid promotion plan as well!

I will definitely be bringing up our group in conversations throughout my time in Calgary and at the Women in WP Panel, so hopefully I can spark some interest and get us more people involved!

I can mention it my events section of my session “Inclusive content strategy” too

In June there will be wceu: I can try to recruit someone


Next Actions

  1. Introduce Jill to sponsor(s) for other half of funding of this important work
  2. Look at the mindmap revised for using event planning tool. How does this look? Anything else we can streamline?
  3. Ideas for streamlining the tracker spreadsheet while still using our Helpscout email – feedback on ideas above and new ideas?
  4. With using Calendly, how do we keep conversations in Helpscout and not in the Trainers’ personal emails?
  5. With using Calendly, someone still needs to manually tag those messages in Helpscout with who is their trainer so that trainers can still visually see who is in their event. Thoughts?
  6. Jill figure out what is needed before we start up Train the Trainers again and suggest a date based on that. (Likely mid June.)
  7. If we require that Meetups show us they have scheduled a Speaker Training Workshop meetup before having a Training with us, what kind of orientation can we provide them online to make sure that they have all the info they need?
  8. New hashtag: We are proposing replacing WPWomenSpeak with WPDiversity. Thoughts?
  9. Currently our workshop is in 5 lesson plans. We are thinking of making it 2 versions: short (1 lesson) and long (5 lessons). Thoughts?