Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on May 13, 2020

Summary: We talked about how we’re doing. (Everyone’s exhausted.) We celebrated the great success and lessons learned of April’s workshops & group coachings. We are planning the May workshops & group coachings, and I’m asking the team to help out with admin and with promoting them. We are also working through a sign-up system for them.

Attending: @jillbinder @wpfangirl @cguntur @angelasjin @rahuldsarker


Our agenda:

  1. How are you doing? No really, how are you doing?
  2. a) Celebrating how the workshops and coaching went last month!
  3. b) Workshops and training schedule for the next 3 months: speaker workshops, train the trainers, group coaching
  4. Promoting these events
  5. Thinking through how the sign ups system should work
  6. Roles

1. How are you doing? No really, how are you doing?

General consensus: everyone was exhausted.

2. a) Celebrating how the workshops and coaching went last month!

In April we did a trial run of a 3-part diverse speakers workshop series (an hour a day for 3 days) and two group coaching sessions.

They went well!

26 attended in total! A handful attended 2 or even all 3.
There were folks from 21 cities in 6 countries.
Their self-reported public speaking confidence went up by 34%!

Testimonials from the workshops:
“Before I took this workshop I was uncertain about the things I needed for presenting; such as choosing a topic, technical requirements for presenting via video and writing a proposal to speak. Thanks to this session, I am feel better about presenting online. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is looking to achieve confidence about presenting online.”
Barbara Bastian, Newbie to WordPress, Monroe, Georgia

“I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is looking for how to materialize their ideas and become a great WordPress speaker!”
Ericka Barboza, Computer Engineer, San Jose, Costa Rica

“Before I took this workshop, I was concerned about my ability to speak calmly and confidently in public. Thanks to this session, I have added new methods of slowing my speech, making eye contact, and calming my nerves. I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is looking to achieve greater public speaking outcomes.”
Alisha Brown, Small Business Owner, Atlanta, GA (edited)

@angelasjin: That’s some really fabulous feedback

In the 2 group coaching sessions,
we had 9 attend in total.
7 cities, 2 countries. (Mostly USA! Even the one that I held earlier to try to get more timezones in.)

It was my first time doing those and it was a learning experience. I got some verbal feedback from them: in the first session, no one had questions. They were lurking to soak up info. They suggested I come in next time with questions prepared.

Also, most people who attended had not heard of our group before, so in both I got to introduce them to our work. I also wound up delivering parts of the workshop in both sessions.

Even with improvements for next time, they seemed to get a lot out of it!

It was my last month under the last funding, and it is part of my funding renewal to continue this style of workshops for the foreseeable future.

2. b) Workshops and training schedule for the next 3 months: speaker workshops, train the trainers, group coaching

In May and June we are going to do the same workshops with the same format. I’m making significant changes to the “Online Stage Presence” workshop — as I got feedback in the form as well as the group coaching that people cared less about lighting, camera position, etc, and wanted to learn more about how to be a good speaker. So it’ll be mostly back to our “Better Speaker Tips” section, with a little bit of the most important items for speaking online effectively in the workshop as well.

@wpfangirl: It is important not to look like you’re in the witness protection program and to avoid echo and background noise, but beyond that, I don’t think the WP audience cares that much about production values.

@angelasjin: The Community team is working on some documentation that will be live soon, and it includes some tips for giving an online talk too. That might be a helpful resource!

The upcoming offerings in May and June are going to be the same as in April. Here are the offerings and their dates:

Workshop 1 of 3: Who am I to be speaking? & Finding a topic that people would love to hear
Tuesday, May 19 @ 5-6pm UTC (10-11am PT)
Tuesday, June 9 @ 5-6pm UTC (10-11am PT)

  • We will dispel some myths about being a speaker and answer your questions about speaking. Together we will work on overcoming the thought, “But I’m not an expert in anything”.
  • Via hands-on exercises and small group discussions, we will help you come up with topics and show you how to choose one. Everyone has something they can talk about – let’s find yours.
  • No prerequisite

Workshop 2 of 3: Creating a great pitch
Wednesday, May 20 @ 5-6pm UTC (10-11am PT)
Wednesday, June 10 @ 5-6pm UTC (10-11am PT)

  • Together we will write a meetupMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. description or WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. pitch for your talk. This also doubles as helping you start to write your talk!
  • Prerequisite: Please come with an idea for a talk. If you don’t have one, then please make sure you attend Tuesday!

Workshop 3 of 3: Online stage presence
Thursday, May 21 @ 5-6pm UTC (10-11am PT)
Thursday, June 11 @ 5-6pm UTC (10-11am PT)

  • We will give you tips for public speaking and being on camera. We will be making the improvements together in the call.
  • No prerequisite

Group Coaching on Zoom: Q&A and Get Feedback
Tuesday, May 26 @ 7-8pm UTC (12-1pm PT)
Thursday, May 28 @ 4-5pm UTC (9-10am PT)
Tuesday, June 16 @ 4-5pm UTC (9-10am PT)
Thursday, June 18 @ 7-8pm UTC (12-1pm PT)

People from marginalized or underrepresented groups can get help on anything related to public speaking at WordPress events, such as:

  • feedback on your title and pitch
  • feedback on your slides
  • practising your public speaking
  • feedback on improving your public speaking
  • feedback on organizing your talk structure
  • answering Q&A questions you are worried people will ask
  • etc.


We want to do a different offering in July. @andreamiddleton and I are currently thinking we’d have a Train the Trainers workshop + some facilitators group coaching. To be determined!

@angelasjin: I like that idea!

3. Promoting these

Our May workshops are next week! We just announced them Friday. Up until today I haven’t had the energy to do too much promo. (See Agenda item #1.) I did a tiny bit yesterday. We have 4 people RSVPed so far.

@wpfangirl: We’re having a meetup on Sunday (@cguntur is presenting) and I’ll be happy to announce it there.

@jillbinder: That would be wonderful, @wpfangirl! Also, yay @cguntur!

@cguntur: Thank you @jillbinder I am going to try to remember all the tips you gave me for online speaking. This is the first time for me.. so I am hoping it goes well.

In future months, we’ll have the Community team promoting them as part of the #tuesdaytrainings. But we are mostly on our own for this round.

Other things that would be great to do:

  • Promote on social media. (So far I’ve put up one tweet.)
  • Ask meetupsMeetup Meetup groups are locally-organized groups that get together for face-to-face events on a regular basis (commonly once a month). Learn more about Meetups in our Meetup Organizer Handbook. if they can create events on their meetup pages for it.
  • Ask the #community-team to promote it.

Any other ideas?

@rahuldsarker: Why don’t we ask the organisers of meetups groups, to organise a dedicated online meetup for the training.
Just wondering if its possible.

@jillbinder: Yes! It would be great for meetups to do this.

Also, @andreamiddleton can remind me why we don’t have a dedicated online meetup group yet… I recall there being some reasoning.

There are so many global, online, community offerings coming up, that I wish we could! I know that in the meantime, we are using #tuesdaytrainings as the way to get that word out.

@wpfangirl: We could move one of our events to accommodate y’all.

@jillbinder: @wpfangirl Oh wow, that is very generous! I like the idea in theory… but it is a closed workshop for those who identify as being in a marginalized or underrepresented group only… Would that work for your group, for making it the primary meeting of the month…?

@wpfangirl: Right. Promoting it as an addition would also be fine.

@jillbinder: It would be wonderful. Please let me know how I can help make this easier for you.

All our info is here:

4. Thinking through how the sign ups system should work

Long story short, we need a new system for signups and Zoom registrations. We did a quick placeholder method last time. It required a lot of manual work for @cguntur and I, that we shouldn’t normally need to do.
I /think/ using ScheduleOnce, our current sign-up system, to have 4 different kinds of events, plus then in July another 2 kinds of events, might not work. I haven’t asked Angela or Miriam to look into it yet… (see above about me not doing well or able to think things through up until today).

I was going to talk through issues and ask for ideas, but I woke up this morning thinking of a solution that should solve most things:

If we make it an Eventbrite event, we can have it automate emails.

The first email when they sign up can be asking them to register for the event in Zoom. (If we have Zoom registrations, Zoom takes attendance for us. It was a real pain for @cguntur to watch who was attending last time!)

Which should in theory solve our issues of:

  • Sending emails out manually at specific times
  • Getting people to register for Zoom
  • Handling different kinds of tickets for different events

I forget what else this was solving. I think it’s worth a try!

I should check to see if we can send different emails to people who have bought different ticket types. But even if they wind up getting all the emails, that’s not tragic…


@angelasjin: If at all helpful, I can look into ScheduleOnce!

@jillbinder: @angelasjin Ohh. I will think about that!

5. Roles

Things I need help with:

  • Creating a new eventbrite account for our team’s email address.
  • Creating a new event (or 2 events? May & June?) with different ticket types for the 5 days they could be attending
  • An assistant during the workshops (@cguntur?)
  • If many sign up for the group coaching, then an assistant during those as well!

Any other way you can think of helping….? Something you think we’d need or something that seems exciting to you to do? I’m accepting suggestions.

To note, currently I have people RSVPing via a google form. I needed to get something up quickly last week.

@wpfangirl: Not sure how to tie that in with, though otherwise I think it should work. Last month I added Zoom registration to the meetup, and it didn’t show up very prominently and a lot of people got confused. I decided not to use that for this weekend, just to provide the Zoom link to people after they registered, but it feels a little chancy.

@jillbinder: @wpfangirl I know that Atlanta put our events up on their meetup last month and it worked out. I did need to comment on their 3 events to remind them to sign up officially. Heh!

@wpfangirl: If you give me the Eventbrite link, I think I can add that as the online location and include some text about having to register there. There’s so little you can do with an event description at Meetup. It’s really a pain.

@cguntur: yeah I can be the assistant for at least one workshop. can I get back to you on that?

@jillbinder: @cguntur Yes

@jillbinder: @cguntur I know you were interested in attending these to learn to run them in the future. fyi, I am going to be trying out some different things in all 3 to refine their flow or content.

(But you don’t have to attend every month!)

@cguntur: Sure @jillbinder I will look at the schedule once again and let you know which workshop I can attend and be your assistant