Tuesday Trainings: Diverse Speaker Training Workshop Part 4

For the past 4 weeks we’ve focused on the Diverse Speaker Training Series presented by @jillbinder–with the help of some other amazing contributors. This week we wrap up that series with the final workshop. Whether you’re someone who would like to get more comfortable in your skills as a speaker or you’re an organizer looking to diversify your roster of speakers and find for ways to support those in your group with training, I can’t strongly enough recommend that you use these workshops and participate in discussion groups for them.

This workshop is for people from marginalized or underrepresented groups who are thinking about speaking at WordPress events. You do not need to have any experience in public speaking, and this workshop is for all levels of experience.

Focus

Becoming a better speaker, creating great slides, handling questions and signing up

Learning Objectives for this workshop

  • Learn a few tips for strengthening the delivery of your talk. 
  • Understanding techniques to improve your stage presence
  • Learn some ways to help handle nerves
  • Learn tips for handling Q&A
  • Identify the basics of making clear, presentable slides

You can watch the video here!

Comprehension questions

  • What are some techniques to address nervousness while speaking?
  • What are some do’s and don’ts of becoming a better speaker?
  • What are some best practices when it comes to handling Q&A?
  • What are some common tricky question types, and how can you handle them?
  • What do you want to avoid when creating your slides? What are some hallmarks of good, clear slides?

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your thoughts and questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings, #wpdiversityworkshops

Tuesday Trainings: Diverse Speaker Training Workshop Part 3

For the past 3 weeks, and for the week to come we’re focusing on the Diverse Speaker Training Series presented by @jillbinder–with the help of some other amazing contributors. Whether you’re someone who would like to get more comfortable in your skills as a speaker or you’re an organizer looking to diversify your roster of speakers and find for ways to support those in your group with training, I can’t strongly enough recommend that you use these workshops and participate in discussion groups for them.

This workshop is for people from marginalized or underrepresented groups who are thinking about speaking at WordPress events. You do not need to have any experience in public speaking, and this workshop is for all levels of experience.

Focus

Creating your talk

Learning Objectives for this workshop

  • Learn how to create an outline for your talk
  • Identify what key elements you should include in the introduction, body, and conclusion of a talk

You can watch the video here!

Comprehension questions

  • What makes for a good introduction to your talk?
  • What are the important components of the body of your talk?
  • What elements should you include in the conclusion of your talk?

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your thoughts and questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings, #wpdiversityworkshops

Tuesday Trainings: How to organize a successful discussion group

WordPress contributor teams announced the Learn WordPress initiative in August 2020, which offers recorded workshops paired with live online discussion groups to help participants learn different features of WordPress. Learn WordPress is gearing up for a full launch, and during the past few months, we have had several workshops followed by successful discussion groups. Discussion groups are, in fact, an essential part of Learn WordPress workshops. In August, @angelasjin published an excellent Tuesday Training post on being a successful discussion group leader. This post serves as a follow-up to explore ideas on how to organize a successful discussion group. 

What is a discussion group? 

A discussion group is an event where participants of Learn WordPress workshops can discuss the workshop topic amongst themselves, solidify their learnings, and find answers to their questions, in a live discussion. These discussions can take place over video calls on Zoom or text based meetings in 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/.. Discussion groups are facilitated and moderated by discussion group leaders who have watched the workshop and know its contents. 

How can I organize a discussion group?

Just like a WordPress 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., anyone can organize a discussion group! There are two ways to organize discussion groups:

  1. You can apply to be a discussion group leader, which will allow you to organize an official discussion group event for a Learn WordPress workshop.
    Once you are approved, you can organize a discussion event on the Learn WordPress Meetup group, just the way you would schedule a WordPress Meetup on a meetup group. Approved discussion group leaders will be promoted as event organizers for the Learn WordPress group. 
  2. You can directly organize a Learn WordPress workshop for a local WordPress meetup.
    Anyone can organize a discussion group for their local WordPress meetup. All you need is to watch the workshop of your choice and schedule a discussion group event for your local WordPress meetup group. If you are not the organizer of your group, you can reach out to members of the meetup organizing team to schedule the event for you. 

Discussion group leaders can organize the discussion event based on any available Learn WordPress workshop. They will need to watch the workshop in advance and should have a good understanding of the topics covered. Each workshop has comprehension questions and learning objectives, which will help discussion group leaders prepare well in advance for a discussion group.

Discussion group leaders for Learn WordPress can then go to the Learn WordPress Meetup group and schedule an event, just the way you would organize a meetup event. Make sure that you mention the name of the workshop and a link to it in the description. Past discussion group leaders have observed that asking a confirmation question to attendees in the meetup options ensures that participants have watched the workshop before attending. 

Preparation before the event

One of the first things you need to keep in mind is the discussion group format. Most discussion groups are organized on video over a video hosting tool such as Zoom (you can reserve a community zoom room, if available). Alternatively, you can also organize a text-based discussion group in the #community-events channel on the WordPress Slack. 

Make sure that you have watched and understood the workshop before the event. Based on the Learning objectives and comprehension questions on each workshop, it might help to prepare some notes. Based on these, prepare a list of discussion points that you can introduce to the audience. Sometimes, many participants in a discussion group may not have seen the Learn WordPress workshop before, so it might help prepare a recap of sorts using slides. Some discussion group leaders have had success organizing quizzes as part of discussion groups. If you are interested, you can create a short, fun quiz with a tool like Kahoot! and use it for your discussion group. 

Ensure that you have scheduled the discussion group at least one week in advance; this will help you get the most participants. Send your group participants reminder emails to watch the workshop along with a reminder about the upcoming discussion group itself. It might be helpful to send a reminder email 24 hours before the workshop and another one shortly before the event.

Tips for a successful discussion group event

Join the discussion group call five minutes early – this will help you stay prepared. Start the discussion group by welcoming everyone. Introduce yourself, briefly talk about the Learn WordPress initiative, and explain what discussion groups are. If you do not have many participants (less than 5), it might help to start with self-introductions – that can be an excellent way to break the ice. Then, ask the members if they have seen the workshop. If at least 20-30% of attendees have not seen the workshop, you might want to start by sharing the gist of the workshop in a capsule form. Do not take more than 10 minutes for the recap. Once the recap is done, you can officially start the discussion group!

Here are some tips: 

  • You can ask open-ended questions based on the workshop and ask participants to answer them. If no one answers, reach out to folks individually and ask questions. 
  • Another way to start the discussion is by reaching out to individual participants in the call by asking them to share their learnings from the workshop.
  • Based on your notes, find a couple of tricky points and try to initiate a conversation. If your group does not seem to be active, you might want to intervene and lead the discussion. You can slowly pass the ball on to other members. Within the span of a few minutes, you should see the discussion gaining momentum.
  • Ask your group members to share any questions that they may have. When they ask questions, even though you may know the answer, ask other group members to answer them. 
  • Some people may not be comfortable talking on a video call. They can always share their thoughts in chat. In fact, you can encourage folks to share their questions in the Zoom chat.

In the meantime, keep a note of the time. Discussion groups are typically one hour long you do not want your group to go past the time limit!

Get creative with discussion groups

Just like how you have the chance to experiment with online WordPress meetups, you can also get creative with discussion groups. Here are some ideas that you can try out:

  • Do a quiz: You can use free tools like Kahoot! for quizzes. The quiz works best towards the end of the discussion group. It need not be long – all you need to have is about 5-8 questions. The questions can be simple yet fun and playful. Add trick questions if you want to! We’ve found that activities like quizzes help spice up discussion groups!
  • Group activities: For discussion groups on practical topics such as the Introduction to publishing with the block editor workshop, it might help organize activities (either individually or in groups), depending on the number of participants. For example, you can ask participants to create a quick 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. layout by giving them some instructions. The task should be fairly straightforward, and participants should complete it in less than 30 minutes. You can then review the work and share instructions on how to get it done. If you are using Zoom for your call, you can use breakout rooms to divide people into groups (this would work if your event has 10 or more participants). 
  • Play games: Several fun games can be used to make online events more effective. Like quizzes, making them the focus of your discussion group might not precisely be effective. But having a short game somewhere towards the end of the workshop might be sufficient. 

Concluding the discussion

Start wrapping up the workshop five minutes before the time is up. You can share a summary of what was discussed and allow for one or two closing remarks. Once the workshop wraps up, it might help send all attendees a personalized message thanking them for the participation. Please don’t forget to share any additional information shared in the workshop (any discussion points, links, slides, etc.). 


Do you have any ideas for organizing a Learn WordPress discussion group? What can we do to make sure that the discussion group is engaging for our participants? Please share your thoughts in the comments! 

#tuesdaytrainings

#community-team #learn-wordpress

Tuesday Trainings: Diverse Speaker Training Workshop Supplemental: Online Stage Presence

For the past 2 weeks, and for the coming 2 weeks we’re focusing on the Diverse Speaker Training Series presented by @jillbinder–with the help of some other amazing contributors. Whether you’re someone who would like to get more comfortable in your skills as a speaker or you’re an organizer looking to diversify your roster of speakers and find for ways to support those in your group with training, I can’t strongly enough recommend that you use these workshops and participate in discussion groups for them.

This workshop is for people from marginalized or underrepresented groups who are thinking about speaking at WordPress events. You do not need to have any experience in public speaking, and this workshop is for all levels of experience.

Focus

Online stage presence

Learning Objectives for this workshop

  • Learn tips to help improve your online stage presence
  • Identify ways to become a better speaker, and things to avoid
  • Discover techniques for handling nerves

You can watch the video here!

Comprehension questions

  • What are some ways you can practice speaking online?
  • What are some becoming a better speaker “dos”? “Don’ts”?
  • What steps can you take to help handle nerves?
  • How can we connect with our online audience?

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your thoughts and questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings, #wpdiversityworkshops

Tuesday Trainings: Diverse Speaker Training Workshop Part 2

Last week, and for the coming 3 weeks we’re focusing on the Diverse Speaker Training Series presented by @jillbinder–with the help of some other amazing contributors. Whether you’re someone who would like to get more comfortable in your skills as a speaker or you’re an organizer looking to diversify your roster of speakers and find for ways to support those in your group with training, I can’t strongly enough recommend that you use these workshops and participate in discussion groups for them.

This workshop is for people from marginalized or underrepresented groups who are thinking about speaking at WordPress events. You do not need to have any experience in public speaking, and this workshop is for all levels of experience.

Focus

Writing your Pitch

Learning Objectives for this workshop

  • Identify what makes for a great title
  • Learn what makes for a successful pitch
  • Write the first draft of your pitch
  • Learn what makes for a great bio
  • Write the first draft of your bio

You can watch the video here!

Comprehension questions

  • What are some important points to consider when writing your talk pitch?
  • What are the hallmarks of a great title?
  • What should your bio include?

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your thoughts and questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings#wpdiversityworkshops

#tuesdaytrainings, #wpdiversityworkshops

Tuesday Trainings: Diverse Speaker Training Workshop Part 1

In the coming 4 weeks we’ll focus on the Diverse Speaker Training Series presented by @jillbinder–with the help of some other amazing contributors. Whether you’re someone who would like to get more comfortable in your skills as a speaker or you’re an organizer looking to diversify your roster of speakers and find for ways to support those in your group with training, I can’t strongly enough recommend that you use these workshops and participate in discussion groups for them.

This workshop is for people from marginalized or underrepresented groups who are thinking about speaking at WordPress events. You do not need to have any experience in public speaking, and this workshop is for all levels of experience.

Focus

Introduction and topic selection.

Learning Objectives for this workshop

  • Understand myths that prevent people from speaking publicly
  • Identify any of your personal fears that have stopped you from public speaking 
  • Generate several topics that you could speak about
  • Learn the different types of talk formats

You can watch the video here!

Comprehension questions

  • What are some common myths that prevent people from speaking publicly?
  • What is impostor syndrome? 
  • What are some topics that you came up with during your brainstorm? Were you able to choose and refine any topics?
  • What are some of the different talk formats? Are there any in particular that you would like to give?

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your thoughts and questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings, #wpdiversityworkshops

Tuesday Trainings: Identifying and avoiding burnout

I was raised to believe that life doesn’t give you more than you can handle. I clung to that belief for a very long time. It was a mantra of sorts to get myself to work a little harder to get through the toughest times. To put in more hours when more hours were needed. To be more focused when I was tired but I just needed to do a little bit more. To say yes to interesting problems that came my way. To lend a helping hand to others who needed it.

I don’t think my story is unique to me. I think many of us were raised to push ourselves a little bit harder. To do a little more than we think we can. To get outside our comfort zone.

Sometimes that is the best thing we can possibly do. To push our own boundaries. To do more. To do better. To seize every opportunity that comes our way. But sometimes that impulse to handle everything set before us and take on even more is what leads us to complete and total burnout. 

It’s that scenario that I want to address today. Identifying that burnout line and finding a way to keep folx from stepping over it.

At the very best of times when things are stable and well, burnout is still a problem that many suffer from. It’s not isolated to one part of a person’s life. It can stem from and impact our job, projects to which we contribute, family, friends, school, and anything else that is an important part of our lives.

As we’re nearly a year into a global pandemic that has added stress to the lives of so many, I thought there couldn’t be a better time to address burnout. What it is and how we can protect ourselves and others.

Before we go much further I’d like to make sure you all know that I’m not a mental health professional. I’m not a burnout expert. But I have experienced burnout and seen it in others I work with. It’s something that I constantly look to avoid for myself and also to help those amazing community members I work with avoid.

What is burnout?

“Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

https://www.helpguide.org/

Burnout isn’t as simple as being tired after a long week of work or boredom and frustration while working on a project or event, though those are certainly signs that a person may be heading that way. Burnout is like hitting productivity rock bottom.

The signs and symptoms of burnout are often the same as those of folx struggling with depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a good sample of things folx have expressed feeling leading up to and during burnout:

  • Feeling tired or drained most of the time
  • Disinterest in things that usually make you happy
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Having an excessively negative perspective
  • Not feeling pride or satisfaction when you’ve achieved or completed something
  • Being short tempered
  • Procrastinating (if you’re not a regular procrastinator)
  • Avoiding communications
  • Feeling detached or alone
  • Not caring about something that once had meaning to you

A look at the long term impact.

If all of the above isn’t bad enough in the moment, there are some long term effects of burnout that make it even worse.

From a personal perspective, being burned out doesn’t impact just one portion of your life. It threads its way into everything. It can lead to long term physical and mental health issues and break down relationships and projects we hold dear.

From a project perspective, it has similar insidious consequences. The most innocuous of which is missed deadlines and communication breakdowns, the worst of which being a loss of phenomenal community members and contributors to the project.

How do we avoid it?

There is no magic solution to avoiding burnout. If there was a switch I could flip to keep all of you from burning out I most certainly would. The best way I have found to avoid burnout or to turn it back when I seem to be heading down that path is to be aware.

Be aware

Keep an eye out for those warning signs in yourself and those you work with and be transparent about it. If you realize you’re suffering from burnout or on the road to burnout or see that someone else is please say something.

Get/give some help

Sharing your feelings of frustration or being heard can go a long way toward making things better. Seek the support of others in our project, talk to a counselor if that is an option for you, and do what you can to mitigate stress in all the areas of your life. Also this is an excellent time to say no to additional commitments and requests. Here’s an older Tuesday Trainings post with additional guidance to saying no when you’re asked to take on more than you can handle.

Take care

So many of the folx I’ve had the honor of working with in our community always put others before themselves. They make supporting and aiding others a mission and it is a beautiful thing to behold. But for those caretaking individuals it’s important to remember that you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. The phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup” always makes the most sense to me here. Recognize your limits and make sure you’re not exceeding them. Give yourself a day off. Make sure you’re doing what needs to be done to care for both your physical and mental health.

Let’s talk about it.

More than anything with this post I hoped to call attention to a problem that I’m seeing far too often, especially right now. But I don’t think me reminding you not to get burned out should be the end of it. I’d love to hear from all of you on the topic of burn out.

Have you experienced burnout? Have you recovered from burnout? What do you find helps you when you start to feel burnout on its way? What is one thing you think we can all do to help others in our community?

It would be great see your answers in the comments.

#burnout, #tuesdaytrainings

Tuesday Trainings: Organizing WordPress Meetups Part 2: Supporting an Online Meetup

This week we continue our focus on the Organizing WordPress Meetups series created by @harmonyromo @harishanker @evarlese and @angelasjin. You can watch it here!

Learning outcomes

Each workshop in the learn series has a set of objectives called the learning outcomes. For this workshop (part 2 of 2) the following learning outcomes have been set by your workshop hosts:

  • Familiarity with the different tools available to organizers to support and build their Meetups.
  • A comfortable understanding of how to generate speaker ideas and/or resources for finding speakers.
  • Ideas for different types of 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. events, including how to run a Meetup based on the Learn platform.

Did you get all that?

If you watched the workshop you should have picked up on the above learning outcomes. But there was more to learn than just those three items. To ensure you had full comprehension you can move along to our next section.

Comprehension questions

  • What are some tools you can use to host online meetups?
  • Why is it important to bring in more organizers, and what are some ways to do so?
  • What are some ways for selecting topics and speakers? Do you always have to have experienced speakers?
  • What are some other event formats for Meetups?

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings

Tuesday Trainings: Organizing WordPress Meetups Part 1: Getting Started

Welcome back to Tuesday Trainings

We took a bit of a break from the Tuesday Trainings series to reassess and see how best to proceed. But now we’re back. The aim of this series is the same as it was before, to shed light on topics and information that folx in this community may find valuable. Some weeks I’ll provide you with fresh content from contributors on the community team but other weeks I am excited to share with you some of the workshops being built for the Learn WordPress Workshop program.

This week and next we’ll focus on the Organizing WordPress Meetups series created by @harmonyromo @harishanker @evarlese and @angelasjin.

Learning outcomes

Each workshop in the learn series has a set of objectives called the learning outcomes. For this workshop (part 1 of 2) the following learning outcomes have been set by your workshop hosts:

  1. Learn how to apply to organize an official WordPress Chapter 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..
  2. Understand the five good faith rules and expectations of all organizers.
  3. Learn about how sponsorships for meetups are handled
  4. Learn why the trademark and GPLGPL GPL is an acronym for GNU Public License. It is the standard license WordPress uses for Open Source licensing https://wordpress.org/about/license/. The GPL is a ‘copyleft’ license https://www.gnu.org/licenses/copyleft.en.html. This means that derivative work can only be distributed under the same license terms. This is in distinction to permissive free software licenses, of which the BSD license and the MIT License are widely used examples. guidelines are important for anyone who represents WordPress in an official capacity.

Now that you know what you’re going to learn, you can watch this video workshop here!

Comprehension questions

Once the video is complete ask yourself these questions to see if you got from the workshop what your hosts hoped you would:

  • Learn how to apply to organize an official WordPress Chapter meetup.
  • Understand the five good faith rules and expectations of all organizers.
  • Learn about how sponsorships for meetups are handled
  • Learn why the trademark and GPL guidelines are important for anyone who represents WordPress in an official capacity.

Talk about it

Now that you’ve taken something away from the workshop I hope you’ll take this all a step further and join a live discussion group to discuss the content with others who have watched it as well. You can find discussion groups specific to any of the workshops you find on Learn.WordPress here on Meetup.com.

You’re also welcome to bring your questions here in the comments!

#tuesdaytrainings

Tuesday Trainings: taking a pause

Over the past couple of months I’ve greatly enjoyed curating the Tuesday Trainings posts we’ve featured here each week. At the beginning of the series we had a flood of contribution, but as time progressed and the WordPress community events situation evolved to deal with the global pandemic we’ve had a lot less training content to share. At this time we are not publishing additional content about organizing in-person events, because we’re learning a whole new way of doing things and documenting it as we go along.

Rather than produce content for the sake of filling space, we’re putting a 6-week pause on Tuesday Trainings posts and will take that time to build up content to be released consistently on Tuesdays, starting in mid October. My hope is that it will also give our community contributors a chance to share trainings based on how things are happening with the WordPress community and the WordPress Community team now that we have more of a handle on synchronous and non-synchronous online content and engagement.

If you have some ideas of content to share with the team please, share it in the comments or send an email with “Tuesday Trainings” in the subject line to support@wordcamp.org.

#tuesdaytrainings