At RecWorks we have recently invested a lot of time into creating a new initiative designed to inspire and develop a diverse new generation of tech speakers within London and beyond.
It is called Aspiring Speakers.
If that’s enough for you, then sign up here. If you’d like to know more then read on.
What is the aspiring speakers initiative?
It’s a small group of people who are interested in improving their speaking skills.
What would I be joining? Where do discussions take place?
Essentially you are joining an email group. It is designed to suit those that are highly active and want to progress to become keynote speakers quickly. Or those that just want to stay as passive spectators and absorb the information, with a view to becoming more active at some point in the future.
It is administered through Google groups, we also have some dedicated Slack channels on the Meet a Mentor Slack group.
What is it all about? What happens within the group?
Whilst it’s only a few months old and growing constantly, here are a few of the things we have:
- Speaking opportunities — We have a variety of ways to start speaking, we have helped everyone from entry-level to those that have given their first conference talk. We have opportunities for 5-minute talks all the way up to 30-minute talks and can help you figure out your roadmap and next steps no matter where you start.
- Speaking workshops — We have a free speaker workshop, which is run by conference junkie Steve Poole from IBM. These are designed to help you with confidence and topic choice to get you from zero to lightning talk.
- Feedback — We have a feedback system with experienced conference speakers so that you can get feedback on your talks
- Q+As — We have regular Q+As with experienced speakers. You can also view past Q+As
- Content — We have blogs written specifically for new speakers to help with why you should speak and how to choose a topic (more coming soon)
- Email discussion group — We have a relatively active and very supportive email discussion group through which you can ask for opinions on what topic to choose or promotion for your talks
- Buddy system — We have a number of members that have been with us from the start, who have experienced some benefits and can walk you through what they’ve done and how you can benefit
Although we’ve only been running since April, as of 1st of July we have organised 32 lightning talks across 24 different speakers as well as a number of other short talks.
Many of these people have already gone on to speak at other events and even a few conferences.
Who are the members?
Technologists. We have circa 50 members at the moment, across a diverse membership base representing many different nationalities, race and ethnicity groups. We have also had a range of career levels sign up. All are welcome to join.
New members are often inexperienced speakers who are intrigued and perhaps want to give it a try. But there is room for experienced speakers that are looking to progress to keynote level. We have had everyone from students to experienced contractors or CTOs sign up. We’ve also seen sign-ups from those in their early 20’s to retired developers, we are yet to see teenagers but the door is open for all ages and career levels. Given that we have current clients within the groups, it is not currently open to anyone working within a recruitment company other than RecWorks.
We have a strong focus on being friendly, respectful and supportive within the group.
I want to join what do I do next?
The buddies are people just like yourself that have been a part of this group for a few months now and have given at least one talk. They have seen some kind of personal benefit and are all warm, friendly and supportive people.
I am intrigued, but I’m not yet ready to give any talks, can I join and be passive?
Absolutely. There is zero expectation to get involved until you’re absolutely ready. There will always be an opportunity to do so when it’s the right time, so we’d recommend you sign up, read the emails and let the current gently drift you toward getting involved.
Can I join if I’m not based in London?
Definitely. The bulk of our members are London based because that is where our business, clients, communities and hence most of our network is based. You are, however, welcome to join no matter where in the world you are. We have members from Nigeria, India and all across the world. Our Q+A’s and lightning talk events are currently held on zoom, so the world is your oyster.
Good luck! Any questions email firstname.lastname@example.org