Recap of the Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) on May 27, 2020

Summary: Reporting on how the Diverse Speaker workshops and group coaching have been going. Talked about our upcoming workshops and roles needed to fill. The group brought up some ideas for us to consider for improving how we do things.

Attending: @miriamgoldman @cguntur @Dani_Long @technocrews @wpfangirl



  1. Check-in. How are you doing?
  2. How the workshops and group coachings are going!
  3. Upcoming workshops & group coaching schedule
  4. Roles needed

Check-in. How are you doing?

Consensus: busy but doing ok. Feeling lonely, despite having a lot of Zoom meetings.

2. How the workshops and group coachings are going!

We had the 3 May Diverse Speaker workshops last week, and this week we have the 2 group coaching sessions.

New volunteer @Dani_Long jumped in and helped out!

@Dani_Long I am interested in helping out more! I just need to learn the ropes first. I have a lot of experience with diversity-type work. In one of my past iterations (and surfacing in a reboot currently), I have experience as an English language teacher (English as an additional language)

I managed to reduce a lot of the assistant work this time (which caused some other issues in the back-end, which I’ll talk about after), and so Dani spent the time helping people feel comfortable, answering questions behind the scenes, filling in things that were needed, etc.

Results from the workshops & coaching so far: 11 attended. Most attended all 3 last week! Two showed up for the group coaching yesterday.

They were from 3 countries, and 11 cities.

Their self-reported public speaking confidence score went up 20% or 30%… I have to check my math again. But either way, that is great.

Despite having explained it better in advance, so I thought, people again showed up not really sure what they were showing up for. Not sure if that needs more work on my part, or if it is just the way it is. People did really like it though.

@Dani_Long: I’m curious. Has there ever been a version of the class where they are sent a (brief) reading assignment first?

@jillbinder: Oh! That is something I’ve never thought of before. That’s an interesting idea.

@Dani_Long: A mini-syllabus, sort of, plus a first assignment. Then they come to class ready to DO things. Flipped classroom.

@cguntur: That is an interesting idea

@Dani_Long: I think the people who sign up are motivated…. the sooner they get to speak and do (especially as it’s an online class), the more their confidence will rise. From an educator’s standpoint…. Especially given that this is a class about DOING things, not just theoretical knowledge. I would totally be down for helping create that approach.

@jillbinder: I love the new idea, Dani! I’m seeing pros and cons… which I want to talk over with Andrea Middleton in my meeting with her today. I’ll let you know if we move forward with that.

@cguntur: @jillbinder how about we make a list of online meetups and WordCamps to the people who attend? I know they can find it online, but giving them the list right after the workshop, might push them to apply for speaker

@jillbinder: Ohhh. @cguntur Yes! So we tell 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. organizers who attended so that they can reach out to the participants to ask if they’d like to speak…? Or was it the other way around, @cguntur? We tell those who attended at what meetups they can apply to speak?

@cguntur: I was talking about telling those who attended what meetups they can apply to… but telling the meetup organizers works too. Sometimes, it is motivating when the meetup organizers reach out…

@jillbinder: Love this. Let’s figure out who can do them.

@Dani_Long: Right! Let both sides have the information (knowledge is power)

@cguntur: Given that many meetups are online now, there is more opportunity for everybody to practice their speaking skills

3. Upcoming workshops & group coaching schedule

Tomorrow, May 28: Group coaching (they don’t have to have taken a workshop, but so far almost everyone signed up has)
Tuesday, June 9: Workshop 1 of 3: Who am I to be speaking? & Finding a topic that people would love to hear
Wednesday, June 10: Workshop 2 of 3: Creating a great pitch
Thursday, June 11: Workshop 3 of 3: Online stage presence
Tuesday, June 16 & Thursday, June 18: Group Coaching on Zoom: Q&A and Get Feedback

We haven’t set the July schedule yet. Andrea and I were thinking we’d do a Train the Trainers (cc @miriamgoldman and @angelasjin). I’ll be talking with her later today about that and what other workshop I’d be doing, if it would be the same or a different one.

Also! Saturday, July 11 I’m doing a Train the Trainers for the women of WordPress Latin America!

fyi, Train the Trainers means teaching meetup and 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. organizers how to facilitate the workshop so that they can do it on their own.

Which is how things normally run. We are temporarily having me deliver workshops directly to keep our work going during the pandemic.

Because there is so much online speaking opportunity these days, so we don’t want to miss this window of helping people want to start speaking at them.

@Dani_Long: OH!! OH!!! July 11 – can I help with that? I’m bilingual/bicultural (Diverse family) (More C. America/Mexico than S. America but hey, it’s close)

@jillbinder: Oh, @Dani Long! Quite possibly! I’ll note that and let’s talk more about it after.

The July workshop that I do in our group might be for the meetup and WordCamp organizers on holding more welcoming and inclusive events. TBD.

On the upcoming workshops: Marketing!

So far I’ve been doing adhoc marketing. It’s worked out ok – in April we had 26 attend and in May, we had 11.
However, @abhanonstopnewsuk from the Marketing team is going to help us with better marketing. I’ll let you know if that can use some help.

4. Roles needed

I can use a helper again in the group coaching tomorrow. (Dani?)

I can also use a helper in the workshops and group coachings next month.

One of the participants suggested that we have someone from our team present in each breakout room. I’m still thinking about that one.

I know that almost everyone on the team doesn’t have bandwidth these days, but is that something you think you could be interested in? It would probably be: Help them decide who goes first. If no one in the room is giving feedback to the person sharing their title, pitch, whatever they’re working on, offer a few words. Things like that.

@Dani_Long: I can help tomorrow. And I’m going to work with Larissa Murillom from the Marketing team for promotion of this here team’s goals/opportunities. Abha asked Larissa and I to work together after the Marketing meeting today.

@Dani_Long: About the breakout rooms – having either a member of this team or someone from a prior class volunteer in each breakout room. I does help from spending valuable time doing the organizational/structure bits

@wpfangirl: Back in the days when I was on the board of a networking group, we made sure we had a board member at each table to help guide things like networking exercises or exercises that were part of a speaker’s program. There was only me when I ran the training for my meetup, so I sort of circulated among the tables to check in with people.

@Dani_Long: Exactly

@jillbinder: I can also use help on the admin side. After a whole bunch of changes, this is what we’ve currently got:

  • An eventbrite account signed up with our group email, speaker-training@w. This allowed us to know who is signed up for what and to automate sending out the warm-up and reminder emails.
  • A google account at speaker-training@w. I needed to sign up with our account as it was getting confusing for everyone getting info from too many emails, plus people had started writing to me at my personal account. The google calendar means that people have it in their calendars.

An interesting note: Google started automatically adding Google Meet links to events, so some people went to that instead of the Zoom link. Grrr. So we need to remember to cancel that every time we make an edit to the event.

@wpfangirl: There’s a Zoom add-in for Google Calendar that might help with that.


  • In order to avoid having to take attendance, we required that everyone register in Zoom. People registered get shown if they attend. The interesting things about that: It was showing in my Vancouver time which confused several people. We had to do it again in UTC time.
  • In order to save people from having to sign up twice, anyone who signed up in Eventbrite, we did their Zoom registration for them. One manual piece that made it look automated.

@jillbinder: I did all of these items with my paid assistant who is not on our team because we didn’t have bandwidth on our team. It’s better if we can be doing it in-team.

A lot of the hard work is now done, and things I would be looking for June:

  • Setting up the automated emails in Eventbrite
  • When people sign up for the event, add them to the speaker-training google calendar and register them in Zoom
  • I’m not sure what else, but it would be along those lines

@cguntur: I can probably assist at the workshop tomorrow

@jillbinder: And then the other role is I’ll find out if @miriamgoldman or @angelasjin can do a Train the Trainers in July. And find out if Miriam is available to coordinate that.

So, to recap, roles I’m looking for:

  • a helper again in the group coaching tomorrow. (Dani and Chandrika!)
  • a helper in the workshops and group coachings next month (June 9-11 & June 16 & 18)
  • possibly helpers in the breakout rooms in the workshops next month… tbd (edit: since then have decided no)
  • help with eventbrite, google calendar, zoom registrations
  • oh yes, and possibly help with marking down who attended, where they’re from, which sessions they attended
  • and the new item that Dani is telling me about, which she is doing: Marketing. (Yay!)
  • and the other new item, Dani may help me on July 11 for the Latin America group.
  • (edited to add:) and connecting participants with their local meetups (Chandrika!)

@cguntur: I don’t think I will be able to help in June

@jillbinder: Ok, thank you for letting me know, @cguntur!