Diverse Speaker Training Workshop Part 1

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.

Part 1: Intros and Finding a Topic

Learning outcomes

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

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?


Jill 0:00
Thank you everyone for being here at our demo of our speaker training workshop or diverse speaker training workshop, depending on if you’re running it for general or for everyone. I will be going through some, you know, there’ll be some some parts in it that are decisions to make, depending on what group you’re running it for, or some other things to customize for yourselves. I’ll be running it today for as if we’re running it for underrepresented folks. And some of the things I haven’t quite filled in on the slides that you will be filling in on yours. And that’s something that I will have in the facilitator module notes. So we are going to get started. First, I’m going to say a few words about myself, the facilitator. So my name is Jill Binder. I’m the lead of the diverse speaker training group in the community team in WordPress, which is the training that we’re making this for now. I also am bringing this workout to other technology conferences and companies and bringing this as part of my business diversity uh Diverse in Tech. And also I live and currently live in Vernon and I go back to Vancouver BC a lot. So that is just a few words about myself. The agenda that we’re going through today is introductions and icebreaker, finding a topic, writing a pitch, creating your talk and becoming a better speaker and creating great slides. So we’re going to go through introductions and icebreaker, why we’re holding this workshop for for underrepresented groups today, what we’re looking for, dispelling the myths of speakers and why do you want to speak. So the first thing that we’re going to do is go through a little icebreaker exercise so that we all get comfortable with our with each each other in the room. Going around the circle, we’ll, I’ll give you each a minute to say your name and what pronouns you’d like us to use for you today, if you’re comfortable sharing them, for example, she/her, they/them, your WordPress experience, what is your speaking experience, if any, and what you want out of the workshop today. I know that you can always opt out of this or any of the other exercises in a workshop. At your turn, just say pass. So I’m going to give an example. My name is Jill Binder. My pronouns are she her. My WordPress his experience is I’ve been using it since 2011. And up until earlier this year in 2019, I was WordPress web developer. And I’ve been working in the community for many years. And now I’m working community team as part of my actual work. My speaking experience, I have been doing public speaking for a really long time. I used to be a life coach and I would do a lot of public speaking then I was also performance poet. And now for a number of years, I’ve been doing many workshops within WordPress. And now I deliver these workshops. And what I want out of the workshop today as the facilitator is to hold a really great experience for all of you. So what I’m going to do is the order that I see you on my screen, I’ll call your name. And if you’d like to give a precise, great and if not just say pass, and I’m also going to open up a one minute timer for us.

So the order that you’re on my screen are a Aurooba, Angela, Miriam, Chandrika and Bhargav. So Aurooba, can you unmute yourself and I’ll restart the timer once you start. Okay, can you see the timer on my screen? Yep. Perfect.

Aurooba Ahmed 3:54
Okay. Hi, everyone. My name is Aurooba. My pronouns, is pronouns are she and her. I’ve been using WordPress since 2008. And I’ve been a web developer for about six years. I have some speaking experience. I have spoken four or five times. And I would love to come out of this workshop with a couple more topics that I could speak on.

Jill 4:24
Thank you. Angela.

Angela Jin 4:29
I, my name is Angela and my pronouns are she her hers. My WordPress experience – I’ve been using WordPress since about 2011. And I contribute to the community team as a community deputy

speaking experience, not too much. I’ve spoken just a couple of times. So what I’m looking for out of the workshop today is to

Jill 4:57
get a couple more topics,

Angela Jin 4:59
feel more confident in when I’m doing talks.

Jill 5:04
Great. Thank you very much. Miriam.

Miriam Goldman 5:08
So hi, my name is Miriam, my pronouns are she and her. I’ve been using WordPress since about 2008 and I’ve been primarily developing with WordPress since 2012. I have about probably about three years speaking experience now a couple wordcamps a year. And I just hope to again, get more topics and especially about creating better slides because that is definitely one of my weak points.

Jill 5:43
Great, thanks very much. And next we have Chandrika.

Chandrika Guntur 5:52
Hi, I’m Chandrika. My pronouns are she and her. I’ve been using WordPress since about 2011. I am a WordPress developer, I build custom WordPress themes and plugins. I’ve spoken a few times, few times in meetups and once in a WordCamp. So what I want out of the workshop today is more confidence in speaking, a few more topics and like Miriam said, tips on creating good slides.

Jill 6:27
Great, thanks very much. And lastly, we have Bhargav.

Bhargav Mehta 6:32
I am Hi, I’m Bhargav Mehta. My pronouns are he and him. Right. I have been working in WordPress since 2014. So I guess, I am the youngest in the group. And my speaking experiences, I have spoken a couple of times in the meetup. I have been organizing meetups in our city. And one time WordCamp speaker. From the workshop, I am trying to understand how we can improve the speaking skills and getting the community ready for other meetups.

Jill 7:21
Thanks very much. You’re all in the right place today for what you’re looking for. Okay, so now we’re gonna chat about why we’re holding this workshop for underrepresented groups today. So there’s a few reasons why you might want to. There’s a few reasons that we want to hold this workshop for underrepresented groups today. First of all, oh, okay, I will add that slide back in. I just put number one is a disproportionately large number of speakers at WordPress meetups and wordcamps, and tech events in general, look alike and come from the same background. That means that the speakers do not represent everyone sitting in the audience. Underrepresented groups they may therefore feel like they don’t belong there. But there are many with a wide range of knowledge to share and everyone can feel included. WordPress is amazing in that it is open source. So all kinds of people use it. And we want a more fair representation of users and the people that are speaking. One of the ways in which WordPress is being shaped by is by the people who speak about it publicly. Many folks from underrepresented groups by nature of having had different life experiences would approach problems differently and just tell the developers point of view is different from a user’s point of view, so are our viewpoints. Folks from underrepresented groups have experiences that aren’t necessarily being shared right now. By bringing in more diversity to the people at the podium, there’s a better chance of bringing in folks who are straddling different roles, and thus creating unique things with unique perspectives. Power users who are using it in interesting ways, front end developers and business people who use plugins to make specific kinds of sites, typographers who use WordPress to do wild things with typography, and people to talk about running a business in WordPress, how developers can communicate with designers, different things you can do with WordPress, etc, etc. And lastly, when people see themselves represented on stage that gives more people confidence and helps them feel like they belong there. They feel less under represented. So what we’re looking for today this is a section that if there is something specific that our group was looking for, we would put this in but I have nothing specific for us. So that would be something for you to fill your own info there. Next, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite parts of this workshop called dispelling the myths. So everyone has their own reasons for not speaking in public, especially at tech events. But most of these reasons are based on myths that we can dispel, or concerns that we can address. Myth one, I’m not an expert. And that’s okay. You don’t have to be an expert. Everyone has a different idea of what expert means. No one knows everything, and everyone has something to learn. You just need to know a little more about your topic than your audience knows. And you can find a topic where you have knowledge that your audience does not. There are things that you do with WordPress all the time that other people don’t, that makes you an expert in your eyes. Even if your audience has knowledge about the same topic, they actually will not frame the knowledge in the same way and they’ll still have something to learn from you. It’s possible that you feel you only know a little bit about a topic. But it’s so more than many people in the audience are happy to learn what you know, you’re probably more of an expert than you think you are. A lot of us suffer from a little thing called imposter syndrome. This is a psychological phenomenon, where you feel like you are an imposter. And you don’t really have the knowledge or skills to be here. But you’ve somehow managed to fool everyone and soon they’ll find out. And imposter syndrome is really common. You’re not alone. A lot of us have imposter syndrome because we don’t see people presented like us as experts on the stage. Many people who are not part of the overrepresented majority set a much higher bar for expert knowledge.

Many communities have surveyed their members to ask what kind of information they want to learn at meetups and wordcamps. And most people request beginner topics. Remember that there are people out there who know nothing about any of this stuff. And they want to know more. If you’ve used WordPress before you have knowledge that other people want you to share. One area where you’re always an expert is your own experience. Case studies make great talks, talk about how you did something, how you learned something, how you overcame an obstacle and the process that you went through to create something or to solve a problem. These kinds of talks are great because they’re unique. It’s not just the same information that anyone can find in an online tutorial. These topics help everyone overcome the I’m not an expert problem. You’re just a normal person sharing a normal experience. And that’s valuable. So people will come to value their own experience and expertise. Even if you’re giving a talk that the audience already knows about all about already, they have a different perspective, and they’re likely to learn something new. So, you might not feel like an expert, but you are if you care about your topic that will shine through. And that’s what is important. Okay, number two, people will ask questions that I can’t answer, and I’ll look like a fool. Yes, people may very well ask questions that you can’t answer. But that’s okay. Your audience understands that not everyone knows everything. And it can be hard to think on your feet and the audience is sympathetic. If you don’t know the answer, there are several things that you can do. You can ask if anyone on the audience has an answer, and you can tell them that you’ll look up the answer and get back to them. Tell them that you post the answer on your blog, they’ll get more visitors to your website. And sometimes people ask questions that are off topic, feel free to tell them that the question is off topic, and we’ll be happy to discuss it with them later. Also, remember, it’s okay to say, I don’t know. People will think more highly of you if you admit that you don’t know if you try to make up an answer. And we’re going to be going into all of these in much more detail in the tricky questions section towards the end. Myth number three: I’m too nervous to speak. Your audience gets that too. After all, most of them didn’t have the bravery to speak. First of all, practice, practice, practice. The more you practice in front of pets, family, friends, the mere small audiences, the less nervous you’ll be. But if you’re still nervous, that’s okay. Everyone gets nervous in front of audiences. And that’s just part of being human. Keep in mind that the audience is on your side, they want to see you succeed. In fact, it’s okay to admit that you’re nervous people be sympathetic. I am really really, really nervous right now too. But I’m up here speaking in front of you and I haven’t died yet. I’m making a little joke at the beginning about being nervous like I just did can help dispel the nervous energy in the room. If you’re really nervous, you might not want to start speaking at an event where you’ll be having a big audience and start at a smaller meetup or even just start in front of the mirror, pets friends and family etc. We will talk more about this in the better speaker section later. Myth number four: I have failed if everyone in the audience is not totally engaged. Sometimes when you’re speaking, you’ll look outside out to the audience, and it will look like everyone is bored. And that’s okay. First of all, most of them probably aren’t as bored as they look, audiences generally sit with neutral faces. So if they aren’t smiling and nodding and cheering, that doesn’t mean that they’re not engaged. If they’re using their phone, tablet, laptop or another device, it doesn’t mean that they’re ignoring you. In fact, it might just mean that they’re writing down your every word, or they might be live tweeting your talk. And no matter how good a speaker you are, you will not connect with everyone in the audience. And that’s okay, too. No speaker can connect with everyone. Expect that. Don’t take it personally, and be happy with the people who do connect with you. And Myth number five: a talk followed by q&a is the only format I can use to share my knowledge. No. There are plenty of other ways to share your expertise at WordPress events, you could lead a group discussion, lead a workshop or put together a panel. Some events offer the opportunity for lightning talks, which are usually about 10 minutes. And this is a great format if you’re nervous because it’s okay to talk fast, and it’s over quickly. Okay, so let’s have a little bit of a discussion. I have for those of you who haven’t spoken. We know what do you think? What are things that you’re worried about? Why haven’t you talked at a meetup or wordcamp? Or who’ve only talked once? Why did you not do it again? So I for this, I’ll have people put up your hand in the video if you have something to contribute for this. Chandrika and then Angela?

Chandrika Guntur 16:50
I am I’m really nervous to stand in front of an audience and speak. So that’s my biggest problem.

Jill 16:59
Yeah. Okay. So you’re you’re just really nervous about it. Got it. Great. Thank you, Angela. Seeing here,

Angela Jin 17:10
I’ve done it before. And it’s scary every single time. And I like to overcome that. The nerves

Jill 17:18
that you cut out for a second. So you so we I heard you say that, you know, you’re nervous every single time and you’d like to overcome that? Yes. Great. And that is something that we’ll have a whole section in the better speaker section on tips for overcoming nerves. Does anybody have an answer that we haven’t said yet, but you’d like to contribute?

Miriam Goldman 17:49
Well, I guess about why haven’t I spoken is actually I haven’t spoken on technical topics, despite being a web developer, is the fact that I’m afraid to have somebody more experienced just come out and say that I’m absolutely

Aurooba Ahmed 18:05

Jill 18:07
Right. That is a valid fear. And we’re actually going to address that later as well. Great. Okay. Thank you very much.

Aurooba Ahmed 18:17
Bhargav had something to say too.

Jill 18:19
Oh, sure. Okay, Bhargav will be our last one for today. Thanks. Thanks Aurooba.

Bhargav Mehta 18:26
So, in, in our community, they say that we don’t know English, we cannot communicate in English. So that’s why we don’t want to speak. They don’t even speak in local language because of the fear of not speaking in English.

Jill 18:46
Why? Okay, so there’s, there’s a language concern that a lot in your country. Okay. Yeah, that’s important as well. Thanks for sharing that.


So let’s, that was a lot of the reasons that people don’t want to speak. But what about reasons that you do want to speak? And so this is actually going to be another discussion question for you. You know, what are reasons that you do want to be speaking in? Just a way so I can see hands again. Miriam.

Miriam Goldman 19:32
I want to give back because I have been given so much I’m a big proponent of giving back to the community. So

Jill 19:41
Oh, that’s wonderful. Thank you, Aurooba and then Chandrika.

Aurooba Ahmed 19:46
I want to make sure that I’m essentially I don’t see a lot of women speaking and I want to help make change that and I’m a woman. I speak.

Jill 19:56
Right. So by example you want to be showing women want to be a woman who’s speaking and that’s right example for others wonderful things Chandrika.

Chandrika Guntur 20:10
One reason I do want to speak is I want to be able to teach new people who are like beginners in WordPress. There are a lot of questions and you know, speaking about how to get started is a way of me giving trying to get teach someone.

Jill 20:27
Great. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. So it’s something that you’re actually wanting to do for your career be able to do more speaking than that. Okay, great. Any others before we move on? Angela, and then they’ll be the last one for today.

I would love to I agree with a lot of the reasons that were just shared. I also see it as a way to start some discussions. And I like the idea of that.

Yeah, well, that’s wonderful. Especially you have a big role building community in WordPress. And so it would be useful to be starting some discussions around that, or there might be other things outside of that as well, that would be useful. All right, thank you. We have a list of examples of why people might want to be speaking. So you said some of these, and then you added in some others as well. So here’s some reasons that people have, that we have for speaking, be seen as an authority in your field, share your knowledge with others, build your confidence, give back to the community, meet people, be part of the community, travel, learn at conferences, speaking teaches you more. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, it can have a feeling of accomplishment, and it can help build your career, and for some folks, they might want to be a role model for folks who are from the same underrepresented group as them. So it could be a role model for diversity. Okay, module number two: finding a topic. So in this module, we’re going to look at talk formats, a big brain dump exercise, narrowing your topic selection, refining your chosen topic and you’ll have an optional chance to present your topic. So now that we’ve talked about why we’re holding this workshop, for for underrepresented folks or underrepresented groups, myths about what it takes to be a speaker, and why you want to speak, let’s start talking about the actual talks. A lot of talks in tech are big, how to bring them sessions, how to make a plugin might be somebody walking through how to make it, maybe even live coding, and at the end, there are questions. Wordcamp Central has found that this isn’t necessarily a good way to impart information. People often walk away feeling overwhelmed, and not remembering anything that they learned. There are other talk formats that promote story based learning. Talking about how you learn something, for example, means other people can also learn how to learn as well different talk formats involving more people can become more engaging. So here are some of the various formats. There’s how to the standard way that tech talks happen. Discussion, you’re the facilitator on a topic, and the audience discusses it together. A panel, multiple people insert questions on the same topic, story based this could be how you learned something, the mistakes you made, or any other narrative format. The story of how you created one thing in particular, and workshop to have a hands on learning experience for people bring their laptop and create a thing as you go. A Talk can also be more than one person, talks with two or three people can be really engaging. Okay, we are going to go into our first written exercise now. So first, I’m going to help you answer the question. I don’t know what to talk about, or I don’t know enough about anything to give a talk, or I’m not an expert in anything, or if you’ve given talks and you’re just stuck for what your next talk is, we’ll be answering that as well. We’re going to do a brainstorming exercise. Brainstorm as many topics as you can in this exercise. We’re not looking for perfect or even good ideas. The idea is just to get them out good, bad or ugly, and see if we can get as many as 30 or 40 or 40 ideas. So really anything that comes to mind. You can write, draw, do mind maps, list, any format that you like. And while you’re summoning the idea gods or getting writer’s block, or anything in between, I’ll be prompting you with questions to generate more topics. And remember, it’s always great to talk about what excites you, not what you think you should talk about. And if you also, if you’re new to WordPress, and you don’t have answers to these yet, that’s okay. You can do the prompts to imagine what your answers might be in, say a year from now.

Okay. So get out something to write with. If you haven’t already. I’ll give you a moment to do that. And I’ll give you a moment to start writing any ideas that are popping to mind already before we start the prompts in the moment I’ll start with the first prompt.

So the first one is what got you into WordPress? What keeps you in it? What do you love about it? What do you want to learn next? The first time you do something with a child theme or a plugin or something

Your biggest challenge in WordPress in the last year or two. The last thing that you learned how did you learn it?

The biggest block that you’ve ever had with WordPress how did you overcome the biggest block? What are you most passionate about when it comes to WordPress what most excites you?

What sorts of things do you love sharing with others about WordPress? Questions about WordPress they get asked about most by clients, friends and family

A list of what you want to learn. Not sure if I asked this one already favorite plugins.

Cool thing you’ve created. Favorite resources. Cool tricks you use all the time. What could you talk about without slides? And finally, what prompts did we not ask which you wish we did?

And I’ll give you a couple minutes to keep writing on these or any others or anything else that comes to mind. Last 20 seconds. All right. Out of curiosity, would anybody like to share how many topics they wrote down? Miriam?

Miriam Goldman 43:04
I’ve got about 13.

Jill 43:05
Nice, great.


Chandrika Guntur 43:09
I think I got about 20 or 25.

Jill 43:16
Nice. Angela.

Angela Jin 43:21
I’m at 15.

Jill 43:23
Great. Aurooba.

Aurooba Ahmed 43:26
I’ve got about 17.

Jill 43:28
Thanks. Bhargav, would you like to share?

Bhargav Mehta 43:32
I have got about 12

Jill 43:36
Great. All right. Good work, everybody. So, now that you’ve got some good, bad and ugly ideas, out of that list, we are going to do an exercise where you’re picking the two topics from the list that you think best fits the following questions. You might also find that you come up with new answers that weren’t in your list. And if so, go ahead and write those down. And if for some of these, you don’t come up with any answers, that’s okay. Just skip that one. First question. For a story based talk. Pick two topics that you don’t know a lot about, but have had some success with. This could be a story based on. For example, I don’t know much about making plugins but let’s say I’ve made one for custom post types.

Panel: for moderating a panel, pick two topics you may not know much about that you would have good questions for.

For how to presentation, pick two topics that you are confident about and could lead out to presentation.

For a case study, pick two topics that you’ve successfully worked on that you feel you could do a case study well

For a workshop, pick two topics that you think you could teach to others in a hands on manner. This could be for running a workshop.

And lastly, for any type, pick two subjects in the topic list that are your favorite.

Okay, so now we’re going to do an exercise to pick a topic. Right now is doing the first part, picking the topic. So together, I’m going to give us each two minutes to chat with each other about what the goal is pick the one that you’re most excited about anything you’d like to develop it further. And for anybody who wants to discuss it with each other I’ll give us two minutes each. So I’ll give you a moment to narrow down your list. See if one pops out. And then start getting volunteers around the group for who would like to discuss it and I’ll give, make sure that there’s time for everybody to have the chance to discuss with each other

Okay, Would anybody like to get help discussing with the group? What their topic is? Miriam.

Miriam Goldman 55:13
I’m always first. I was going back and forth between two topics. But I think one that is more recent for me is one about transitioning from working in an office to a remote workspace because I just went through that six months ago. And so

Jill 55:34
that’s something that is very real free right now. Yeah. Nice.

Aurooba Ahmed 55:40
That’s a good one. I would go to that. Yeah,

Jill 55:44
I think there’s in WordPress, it seems like it’s a land where a lot of people will start to want to do their own freelancing and working from home. So I think a lot of people want to know about that.

Aurooba Ahmed 55:56
Or even joining a company that is remote is really common in WordPress, right is

Chandrika Guntur 56:05
that’s a good one Miriam.

Jill 56:08

Angela Jin 56:12
I had a similar one in which was distributed where

Bhargav Mehta 56:21

Angela Jin 56:23
I don’t know if I’m packing too much into there for one talk. But in thinking about how

WordPress, the open source project is built, it’s people around the world on slack on blogs, building it together. So working across

Jill 56:43
time zones in different cultures is a topic you cut out more. And if it doesn’t work again, yeah, put into the chat.

Angela Jin 56:51
It’s a distributed work across time zones and cultures. Something I’ve been thinking about lately.

Jill 57:00
That sounds like something that those who are running companies would probably be very interested in. There’s probably some other use cases for that as well. Any anybody else have comments or thoughts on that?

Aurooba Ahmed 57:16
That would probably be a good talk for like, either like a wordcamp, or there are a lot of like larger companies and the reps or maybe even like a larger wordcamp. Like, it could be even a really good lightning talk. Like we’re getting us. Yeah,

Jill 57:34
I think you’d have more a more specific niche wanting to hear that one. But there’s definitely places for that.

Angela Jin 57:39
And I was wondering if it would be good for like individual contributors, because they will get exposed to working with people around the world, like just through slack. Right?

Jill 57:56
There might be a way to position it for that as well. So when we get to the next parts, where we’re refining it, you might find a way to kind of address for both for a different talk for each depending on

Aurooba Ahmed 58:08
you could really tailor that depending on the kind of audience you’re focusing on.

Jill 58:15
Anyone else?

Aurooba Ahmed 58:19

Jill 58:21
get the time again.


Aurooba Ahmed 58:27
Um, I often do technical talks, because that’s something I enjoy learning and enjoy teaching. So the one that I was kind of thinking about is how to extend default Gutenberg blocks. Oh, that could be a good one. Because you know, Gutenberg is still new. But sometimes all people really need is a couple more options, and then a Gutenberg block that already exists.

Jill 58:51
Oh, yeah. I mean, Gutenberg is a hot topic right now. So anything, Gutenberg is definitely something that is popular. And that sounds like a really good topic that people might not realize that they don’t have to code a whole new one. They can actually use something that exists.

Aurooba Ahmed 59:09
Mm hmm.

Chandrika Guntur 59:11
I would go to that talk.

Jill 59:14
Yeah, nice. There you go.

Aurooba Ahmed 59:17
Excellent. Yeah, coming over. Talk at your meetup. Yeah,

Angela Jin 59:24
I like that talk as well.

Jill 59:28
Yeah, great.

Angela Jin 59:30
And if you did as a case study, I

think it would be really cool.

If like, you showed how you did it yourself. A real use cases? Yeah.

Jill 59:44
Great, thank you Chandrika.

Chandrika Guntur 59:46
I had a similar topic. Using advanced custom fields and Gutenberg together to create blocks.

Jill 59:56
Nice. Yes. It’s even more specific. I like that. Yeah. Yeah, I think I think again, Gutenberg is currently in 2019. Very, very big topic. And

Bhargav Mehta 1:00:11
I think really new.

Jill 1:00:12
Yep. Yeah. And I know, I mean, back when I was doing WordPress development, which happened to be up until Gutenberg became a thing. I was using advanced custom fields a lot. So I imagined that is a really important time.

Bhargav Mehta 1:00:31
One, one more thing that is new right now it’s Gatsby JS. So I had a topic in mind how to get started with Gatsby JS and WordPress.

Jill 1:00:42
Great. Okay, that’s cool. Like, cool. Yeah,

Bhargav Mehta 1:00:46
that’s one. One more. Like what I am currently transitioning through is my journey as a developer to functional consultant and why choose that?

Jill 1:00:58
Ooh, interesting. Let’s help you choose two people have thoughts between these two topics?

Chandrika Guntur 1:01:06
I like the second one. I mean, I like both. But listening to those personal stories is always a nice thing. Agreed.

Angela Jin 1:01:18
Yeah, I agree as well. And when you said it, it seems like you had some passion behind it as well. So I really like seeing that.

Aurooba Ahmed 1:01:28
I can also see a lot of people wanting to make a similar move or be thinking about it. I’ve seen it happen a lot. So it could be a definitely useful topic. Story.

Jill 1:01:40
Nice. Great. So it sounds like everyone loves the second one. Have we covered everybody?

Aurooba did you go? Yes. Yes. Great. Okay. So now we’re going to do is an exercise where we’re going to further refine the topic. So first of all, wherever you’re at now, it’s okay. If you’re, if those out there in the world are still not sure what the topic all of us were, it sounds like we’re pretty sure. But if there were people in the group who were not sure, it’s okay, just pick one to say to the rest of the group that you’ll use for the exercises for the rest of the workshop. You can always use your topic today just as a practice and do a different topic later. So don’t worry about picking the perfect one. But since we all know our topics I’m going to move on. So to further refine your topic, we are going to apply who what why, how, when and where, for example, who is this plugin for? What does this plugin do? Why was it created? How does it work? And when would you use it? Where would you use it? So I’ll give you about five minutes to do this writing exercise.

We’ve got about 15 seconds left. Okay however far along you’re you’re out with that is fine just use what you have from this list. Can you refine your topic? Is there something more specific on which you could give the talk I’ll give you two minutes to polish your topic. We’ve got about 20 seconds left.

Okay, so now we’re going to go around the circle, going around the circle, and give everyone the opportunity to say what topic they chose. And if you’d rather not when it’s your turn, say pass. And then also we can give you feedback if you like. So what I’m going to do is go around the circle, I’m going to, say the order that we’re going to speak in and then if you want to say pass, you can. Aurooba, Angela, Miriam Chandrika and Bhargav.


Aurooba Ahmed 1:11:16
Yeah, I just I picked what I had chosen before, which is how to extend default Gutenberg blocks. I chose not to go with the case study style, because I want it to be able to show multiple options for different types of blocks that I’ve seen a lot of people wanting to extend, because they want to create something just like a default Gutenberg block, but then they need a couple more options. Some is why go through all of those common scenarios.

Jill 1:11:46
Great. Thanks, Angela.

Angela Jin 1:11:51
So I also

might same topic, but based on the helpful feedback, I’ve turned it a little bit to be a little more focused


I kept thinking,

building WordPress across time and space, but more in the sense of like, tips for working globally, to build WordPress together. Hmm. Right.

Aurooba Ahmed 1:12:20
It’s a cool title.

Jill 1:12:22
It will be working more on titles later as well. So we’ll define that further. Great. Miriam

Miriam Goldman 1:12:30
Like the others, I’ve kept the same topic. And I’ve kind of refined it down to tips and tricks, because a lot of people have worked in an office for most of their career. And for some reason or another, they choose to, or they have to go remote. And it can be a very scary thing for some people. So I was just going to share the tips and tricks that I’ve learned as I’ve made that transition. So story based,

I guess,

Jill 1:13:00

Bhargav Mehta 1:13:02

Chandrika Guntur 1:13:06
I’ve kept the same topic. Still trying to work on the title. But I think focusing more on building custom sites with ACF blocks, because it’s much easier to customize your client sites with custom ACF blocks.

Jill 1:13:26
Nice. Yeah. I still need time. Yeah, we will work on titles later. But I actually like that title, as is. So you’ll see later if you need to change it at all, if you have any other ideas are not great. Bhargav

Bhargav Mehta 1:13:42
based on the feedback, I have kept my personal story like storyline and the topic and it says that my journey as a developer to a function functional consultant. Why choose it?

Jill 1:14:00
Great. Yeah, that sounds good. Wonderful. Well, thank you very much, everybody.

Workshop Details



I lead the Diverse Speaker Training group in the WordPress.org Community Team. We have a workshop that encourages more diverse folks to apply to speak at WordPress events.

I helped organize the first BuddyCamp and for three years co-organized WordCamp Vancouver. I was named one of the top 100 Influencers of WordPress in 2014 by Torque Magazine and one of the top 10 Women of WordPress by CloudWays.

Aurooba Ahmed

Interests: content-first web development, PHP, JS, React, HTML, CSS

I care about friendly useable websites built with clean and elegant code. Always doing my best to keep learning and building my best.

Angela Jin

An inveterate volunteer, Angela has a longstanding passion for building strong, inclusive communities. She joined Automattic in 2018 as a community organizer for the WordPress open source project, and adores working with WordPress communities around the world. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Angela is currently trying out Madrid, Spain, where she delights in learning Spanish, exploring by eating, and reading a good book.

Miriam Goldman

WordPress Developer, Architect, and Tech Lead. WordCamp Ottawa and WordPress Ottawa meetup co-organizer. WordCamp speaker. Karate sensei, and percussionist.

Chandrika Sista

Chandrika is a WordPress developer. She loves to build custom WordPress websites and plugins. She started working with WordPress in 2011.

Currently working as a web developer for Camna LLC.

Bhargav Mehta

Humming to the melodies of A. R. Rahman is my full-time job. Expanding the horizons of knowledge by reading is what people always find me doing. E-commerce raises my dopamine levels and hence I work on E-comm projects. Currently working as Assistant Project Manager at Commerce Pundit.