Call for Volunteers: The Diverse Speaker Training Group

Have some extra time and looking for a way to give back to the community? The Diverse Speaker Training group (#WPDiversity) seeks volunteers!

What our team does

Getting speaker applications from people in marginalized or underrepresented groups to do public speaking at WordPress events can be a challenge. That’s why we have a training-based solution that helps us who are from these groups look at what has previously stopped us from speaking, explore how to move past our fears, develop tools for public speaking, and feel motivated.

Pre-COVID-19, we succeeded in helping many WordCamps achieve 50% speaker diversity or more! Now during COVID-19, we have shifted our focus to helping individual speakers directly. Our workshop attendees self-report a public speaking confidence increase of 10-20%!

We’re proud of this important work, and now we need your help with the following roles: 

Meeting Reminder-er

What: Send reminders on the #community-team channel on the WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. when we are holding meetings.

When: Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, at an hour before our meeting (4pm UTC) and 5 minutes before the meeting (4:55pm UTC).

Why:

  • There are some people who rely on these reminders to attend our meetings. And the more people who attend, the more voices help shape our impact in the WordPress community
  • New people feel encouraged to attend and join the team because of these reminders.

You’re a good fit if: You want to help and want to tackle a smaller, routine task that makes a big impact. As long as the working group can count on you to show up to provide these reminders, this is also an excellent task for someone who is just starting to get involved. 

Workshop Mentors

What: At any of our monthly workshops that you are able to attend, help the facilitator answer questions, give feedback on topics and pitches from participants, answer the facilitator’s group questions to encourage participation from attendees, and start a conversation when there are moments for connection, especially before the workshop begins.

When: We hold workshops on Zoom for an hour a day, three days in a row, once a month. Sometimes we hold two additional open practise sessions of an hour each in another week. The time is usually 5-6pm or 6-7pm UTC. The week of the month is different every time, and we will give you at least a few weeks notice in advance. Workshop mentors are asked to join the Zoom call approximately 10 or 20 min in advance of the workshop start so we can all connect and check-in. Attending all workshops in a month is great, but not required. Just let us know your plans as soon as you can.

Why:

  • We have better quality workshops when there are multiple people answering questions and giving feedback. Plus this is an opportunity for you to connect with members of the WordPress community.
  • Hearing from more voices gives different perspectives and experiences, which is very important for helping more people feel more comfortable with public speaking.

You’re a good fit if: You have a strong desire to bring more diverse voices into WordPress events. You don’t need to be an expert speaker, but you’re willing to share your experience with speaking with others. You understand how important it is to make people feel comfortable on calls and want to chat with everyone to make that happen! Helpful but not required experience would be having participated in the Diverse Speaker Training Workshop yourself. 

Workshop Assistants

What: There are background admin items that need to be attended to during workshops. These include: welcoming latecomers in the text chat, letting the facilitator know if there are questions she missed in the chat, encouraging more participation from attendees by participating when you can, and, if you feel comfortable, starting a conversation when there are moments for connection, especially before the workshop begins.

When: We hold workshops on Zoom for an hour a day, three days in a row, once a month. Sometimes we hold two additional open practise sessions of an hour each in another week. The time is usually 5-6pm or 6-7pm UTC. The week of the month is different every time, and we will give you at least a few weeks notice in advance. Workshop assistants are asked to join the Zoom call approximately 10 or 20 min in advance of the workshop start so we can all connect and check-in. Attending all is great, but not required. Just let us know your plans as soon as you can.

Why:

  • Workshop assistants support the facilitator and mentors as they run the workshop, and help them better connect with attendees by making sure that no questions are missed. When workshop assistants participate in the content, it helps attendees feel more comfortable doing the same! Plus this is an opportunity for you to connect with members of the WordPress community.

You’re a good fit if: You have a strong desire to bring more diverse voices into WordPress events. You don’t need to be familiar with this workshop at all — this is a great volunteer role to get to know the workshop content! 

Learn WordPress Discussion Facilitators

What: Watch the workshop videos in advance (participants will also be asked to watch them in advance). In these sessions, you will be given questions to start a discussion about the material. Please note that you do not need to know much about the material yourself, as watching the video has all the information you need! You’ll schedule and then facilitate a conversation about the recorded workshop.

When: It would be great if you could attend the October 6, October 7 and October 8 discussion groups that I will be leading at 5-6pm UTC. Afterward, we could talk about how it went and if you would like to start being a discussion leader as early as November or early in the new year.

Why: These workshops make a big difference in the community. When more people are speaking up and making their voices heard, the more positive changes can be made . These discussion groups will make the monthly workshops easier to run. Plus, it’s an easy way for you to start speaking in public.

You’re a good fit if: You have a strong desire to bring more diverse voices into WordPress events, and are looking for an excellent way to help increase diversity of speakers at WordPress events in your local community and/or meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. 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 meetup.com will help you find options in your area.. You want to start discussions with other individuals also interested in speaking at WordPress events. These discussions are scheduled on your own time, so this is a good option for people who want to set the time for their event. 

Team-members

What: We would love more team-members in the Diverse Speaker Training group. Specific roles are not currently defined, but there will be opportunities for small one-time contributions as well as bigger ongoing roles, as they come up. You are also welcome to suggest creating a new role that inspires you and will assist the team in our mission.

Even being a regular group contributor and giving feedback/opinions on what we are doing is helpful, without taking on any formal roles. :slightly_smiling_face:

When: You can participate as much or as little as you would like. We’d love it if you could attend meetings on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 5-6pm UTC, though it is not required.

Why: Our team is proud to be making a tangible difference in the WordPress Community, and now we need your help. With more people providing their experience and energy, we will continue to do great things together!

You’re a good fit if: You have a strong desire to bring more diverse voices into WordPress events, and you want to help shape how that happens. You do not need to have any prior experience, but a willingness to share ideas, collaborate, and help define and tackle tasks would be amazing. 

Please Note

We need volunteers to help move this important initiative forward. If you have signed up for something, we are relying on you! We understand that things do come up, so if you commit to a task and are unable to complete it or fulfill your role, please tell us as early as possible. The sooner you tell us, the easier it is to make sure your task is covered! 🙂 

To Sign Up

If you have any questions, or if you are ready to volunteer, please comment on this post. 

Alternatively, you can DM @jillbinder on Slack on being a Meeting Reminder-er, Learn WordPress Discussion Facilitator, Team-member, or general questions.

You can DM @Dani Long on Slack for being a Workshop Mentor or Workshop Assistant.

Thank you very much for your time and dedication!