February 21, 2020
Have you ever had trouble getting speakers from marginalized and under-represented groups to speak at your Magento events? The Magento Community team is often asked how to increase the number of diverse speakers at Magento events and conferences. We now have a solution that works and is easy to implement.
We have been running a series of Speaker workshops that have improved the speaker diversity in other tech communities. We ran one in July 2019 for the whole Magento Community and in January 2020 for people who are underrepresented at Magento. We had a public speaking increase of 47%, and folks have already started stepping up to speak.
We are now going to take the next step. On Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. PT, we’ll be offering a "Train the Trainers" online workshop for event organizers to learn how to hold their own Magento Speaker Diversity Workshop for their local communities. This will allow Meetups and Magento conferences to continue to offer the workshop all around the world.
Running it for the people from under-represented groups in your community:
• You will read info that helps them bust through personal obstacles to speaking, such as impostor syndrome.
• You will be running exercises to help them find a topic.
• Through info and exercises, you will help them create a title, pitch, bio, and outline.
• You will read them tips to becoming a better speaker.
• You will be giving them a chance to practice public speaking when they read their answers to the exercises to the room (optional).
• You will be helping them build confidence and feel motivated to start public speaking!
The Magento Community has partnered with Jill Binder on this effort, as she successfully pioneered this approach within the WordPress community. By offering both direct speaker training workshops and teaching communities how to run these workshops, Binder has been able to make a huge difference in the WordPress community since she began this outreach in 2018. So far the workshop has been run by over 20 WordPress Meetup groups in nine countries.
“All of the communities that held this workshop experienced a real change in the speaker roster for their annual conferences; many of their WordCamps went from having 10% women speakers to having 50% or more women speakers in less than a year. In 2017, Seattle had 60% women speakers, and in 2018 Vancouver had 63%.” (Source: Want to See a More Diverse WordPress Contributor Community? So Do We.)
This workshop includes the following:
• A three-hour live online training
• A script for you to follow to run a Magento Speaker Diversity Workshop
• Prerecorded videos demonstrating how a workshop is run
Who should attend
Everyone. Although we strongly suggest that the person facilitating your workshop is from the same community as the participants, everyone can take the workshop to learn how to run it. Then you can support someone representative of your community to lead it, or you can co-facilitate with them. If possible, it’s even better if you can find your future trainer now and take the training together.
But there’s no one in my community!
Time and again, when the event description has been posted properly (which you'll learn to do), we see folks who have never come out to an event before attend this workshop and then start participating in the community.
If it’s on your radar to improve the diversity of your speaker lineup, come to our training to learn how.