Just yesterday I cleared one of the final hurdles blocking my official participation in our non-profit, Sound Off. Of course, we’ve been setting things up and we’ve even launched our first campaign to help provide ASL interpreters and live captioning for AlterConf. This is all on top of the work we’ve already done to sponsor scholarships to NSScotland and Layers, and provide ASL interpreters and live captioning for AlterConf Detroit. We’re also moving quickly to seat a diverse board that will be a credit to our goals. So expect to see more on that soon-ish.
However it isn’t enough to make certain conference audiences are diverse. Getting the very best experiences means we need a variety of speakers. Unfortunately, white guys get more opportunities to speak and feel more at home on stage – after all looking out into the audience is more like looking in the mirror – something must be done to balance this advantage. Conferences are already looking to provide balance in their speaker lineup, but I feel there might be more I can personally do.
Starting in February, I’ll be offering public speaking training. These lessons focus on using body language, gestures, and your voice to enhance your story telling. My plan is to break the class into two sessions held over consecutive days to allow for sufficient class participation. I’ll not turn anyone away, but I will give first preference to under represented groups.
If you’d like to participate, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.