Storytelling for Tech Talks

We talk a lot in our speaker trainings about writing your talk as a story, but how do you do that? Is it possible for a tech topic? In this session, we will cover some story-telling structures that work well for tech. Helpful but not required: a topic you are wondering how to turn into a story. No prerequisite to attend this workshop.

Learning outcomes

  1. Why storytelling?
  2. What are the problems tech people encounter with storytelling?
  3. Understand storytelling format 1
  4. Understand storytelling format 2

Comprehension questions

  • What is one good reason to tell your talk as a story?
  • What is one of the problems tech people encounter with storytelling?
  • Name 2 of the 5 steps of the “Say It In Six” storytelling format.


Jill 0:05
Welcome, everyone to this week’s workshop three of three weeks. Today we are covering storytelling for tech talks.

Before we begin, I want to tell you a little bit about the group that is bringing this workshop to you. First of all, before we begin, just a quick note that you can get up and move around whenever you want to. And I want to let you know that this series is brought to you by the Diverse Speaker Training Group, which is a working group in the WordPress community team. Normally, we support meetups to run our speaker training workshops that help new speakers from marginalised and underrepresented groups start speaking at our WordPress events. And during the pandemic, we’d be mostly bringing the workshops to you directly ourselves. I also would like to make a note that although I’m leading this team for diversity, I am still a white woman in Canada, whose experiences are coloured by that. And also by having some invisible differences, like chronic illness and a bit of neuro divergence. And so I want to let you know, no matter how much I try and learn about other people’s experiences, I still come from my own experience. And I’m a person who tends to be awkward. And once in a while, I’ll say something that I’ll say something incorrectly. And I want you to know that I recognise that I’m making mistakes, I’m doing my best to learn every time. And I want you to know them coming from the very best of intentions. And I ask that you be patient and understanding with me. And if I do say something that makes you feel uncomfortable, if you have the bandwidth to help me learn during our after, I would appreciate that, although that is not something that I would expect. And if you need to leave for any reason, that is also fine. So today’s workshop three or three. On Tuesday, we covered improving your proposal for your online WordPress talk. Yesterday was intermediate online stage presence, and today is storytelling for tech talks. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to look at why storytelling, the problems that many of us have with trying to write a story, storytelling Formula One, we’ll probably have time to briefly look over storytelling, Formula Two, and answer some questions if you have asked questions throughout. And we’ll see if we have time at the end for more questions, as well. So, first of all, why storytelling, some of you have heard me say this in a different workshop. It is the same reason here. A lot of the tech talks that exist are big how to brain dump sessions, how to make a plugin might be someone walking through how to make it, maybe even live coding. And then at the end, there are questions. WordCamp deputies found that this isn’t necessarily a good way to impart information. After a day of talks, people often away, walk away feeling overwhelmed and not remembering anything that they learned. And so story based learning is a brilliant way to impart information to people. Also some more specific reasons, on your expertise, a lot of us suffer from a little thing called imposter syndrome. This is that psychological phenomenon where you feel like you’re an imposter. You think you don’t really know anything. And you’ve, you think you don’t really have the knowledge or skills to be here. But somehow you’ve managed to fool everyone. And soon they’ll find out. imposter syndrome is really common, and you’re not alone. And the good news is, you’re always an expert in your own story. So if you talk about how you did something, how you learn something, how you overcame an obstacle, the process, 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. And these topics have everyone overcome the I’m not an expert problem. You’re a normal person sharing a normal experience, and that’s valuable. So people will come to value their own experience and expertise. Hi, Nicole, welcome. We’re just getting started with the content.

Number two is as a result of all of that, the audience learns how to learn. So when you talk about your process, people see how you did it and they walk away with more problem solving skills. Number three is it’s engaging stories aren’t gauging dynamic and keep people’s attention for longer, and also fresh perspective. So even if you are giving a talk that the audience knows all about already, by virtue of coming from a different background, not looking like having a whole rich different history, you’re just naturally going to have a different perspective quite lately. And they’re likely to learn something new about the topic as a result of that. So that’s all great, great storytelling Hooray. Problems with writing a story. Men have many of us in technology are not necessarily storytellers. Many of us are in tech, because we have, because we’re logical thinkers, not necessarily people who like to be descriptive and creative. Although I will say many of us do like both kinds of thinking, but many do not. And even those of us who do know how to tell stories, that tech topics themselves tend to be logical and can seem like it’s harder to formulate into a story. Like my favourite plugin limits how many login attempts hackers can make? Pretty straightforward. Not much to it. Details too many details. Once you’re writing a story, it’s it’s easy to add too many unrelated details that detract from the real story. Like before I tell you about login limit or plugins, let me tell you about me. Once upon a time, a little girl was born on a stormy night in London, England, twistedly. Mother, that might be interesting. But that’s an entirely different story that does not belong in the current story. And that I’ve actually seen that happen quite a fair bit, people will start talking about their childhoods in their talks, which has nothing to do with the actual topic into tracks. And I’d love to hear from you. Is there anything else that might be stopping you from writing stories or things that you can think of that would stop other people from writing stories? I’d love to hear in the chat. Or if you want to unmute and say, a couple things out loud?

Unknown Speaker 7:14
Well, this is Danny, I would say that, it’s really important to understand how to use stories because the topics can be so dry. And our brains are wired to look for patterns, right? So stories create that pattern. And then that that creates like a through line that the listener can identify with. So when you latch on to the ideas more closely, the ideas are more sticky for the listener to so it helps improve both the attention to the topic and the comprehension of it. And then the stickiness of the ideas.

Jill 7:53
Yes, that is brilliant. Thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker 8:01

Unknown Speaker 8:03
I was just gonna say that. I think something that has been like holding me back is like, sometimes I feel like my story is not going to be unique, or it’s gonna be, you know, something that they’ve heard before. And so I think those are the barriers that I’m currently having.

Jill 8:21
Right, so maybe not having an interesting story, maybe something that people have heard before. not unique. Yeah. Okay. Great One.

Unknown Speaker 8:28
Thank you.

Jill 8:31
So, I’m going to share with you now, I’m going to share, I have never been a great storyteller myself, I definitely did not feel comfortable about telling stories, until the main formula I’m going to share with you today. It was given me to me in 2015, when I was first telling people at a conference about this workshop that that we’re delivering are the series of workshops on helping people own their expertise through storytelling. And somebody at that conference recommended a book to me, and I’ve been using the formula from this book ever since the book is called, say it in six, how to say exactly what you mean in six minutes or less. And it was written in 1996. It’s one of those oldie but goodie classics. And just to note, it’s hard to get a copy of this book now. So I took most of the explanation at our website, question And they they talked about it in terms of business pitches, and so I modified it to work for our tech topics. But a lot of material does come from that. So, quick overview of this one. First of all, we’re reading this through quickly and then we’ll talk about each item in more detail. Let’s get right to the point there’s a burning issue. Here’s a quick overview, just a bit of background, this led to an idea, the idea more than pays for itself. And here’s how it can help you. And here’s what you need to get going. So number one, tell it like it is, let’s get right to the point. What’s the burning issue? You start with a problem statement or some sort of issue statement. So what is the problem? What is the burning issue? Can you state it in one to three sentences? This is something even though it’s one of the first things you’re going to be saying somewhere near the start, and may actually wind up being the last thing that you write. And starting your presentation with an authentic statement about what’s happening will pique everyone’s interest, and get them invested quickly into the story. It’s like a movie that starts off with the explosion that’s going to happen near the end of the movie, before it cuts back to the characters normal life, where the characters say mowing the lawn and being bored, you get to see a bit of what the problem is going to be later. And you get invested in the story arc of how did this person get from mowing the lawn to jumping from an explosion. And also, after you make your what’s happening, exclusion statement, the little voice inside your audience’s head should maybe be surprised, maybe leaving them wondering how this came to be and how it got resolved. So for an example, I’m going to go through an example of trying to write a story for a boring login limiter plugin, this story is completely invented. And it’s okay to invent a story. It doesn’t have to be your personal story, you can say, I’m going to tell I’m going to tell a fictitious story. And pretend that that, you know, but this is a thing that happened. And let you know, it’s up to you if you want to let the audience know that it’s fictitious or not. So let’s say I was writing about this plugin that limits how many attempts login attempts a user can make. My first statement might be something like my website was about to get hacked, and I stopped it. Number two,

here’s a quick overview. Just a bit of background. So this one is how did we get here? How did this issue come up? What are you trying to do? What was happening? Why was at a problem? What’s the background story that leads up to the explosion? Be careful to only include things here that are relevant to your story. For example, don’t start talking about being born on a stormy night in London, England, unless it’s actually relevant to your story. I will add, though, that it is okay to add details that will make your story a little bit more interesting, especially for relevant people do like those details. I’ll give an example in a moment. One of the details that you could be adding, if you’re talking about something that has data backing it up. This is the section that we’re gonna place all your data, your charts and your graphs. So for my login limit, or plugin story, I might say, I was making a simple brochure website for bed and breakfast cottage run by a retired couple eaters and Stan, one morning, I woke up to 500 new emails all telling me that there were login attempts by unknown users. I got really worried what if the site got hacked and taken over by some with something inappropriate. I didn’t know what to do, and I got panicky. So notice, I’m adding in some fun details, what the website was about was run by how I felt, because that adds interest and also shows how important that this was to solve. And I might also add some data, I might say something like, at this point, I might add in Did you know, this is data that I’m making up? Did you know that 30,000 websites get hacked every day? And half of those are made by bots, trying just simply trying different usernames and passwords? The next one is, What’s your idea? So in this section, you talk about what can we do about this? at the stage, the little voice inside your audience’s head is begging for solutions. Hopefully, they should be eager to hear how you solved it. This is the time where you’re going to take the time to present the idea and how you got the idea in a tangible or present how you got the idea and what the idea is in a tangible, visible way. So once you’re showing the idea, you can show screenshots. You can even show a video demoing a show a video that shows a demo, and I recommend very highly don’t I recommend against live demos, because doing it live it’ll invariably go wrong. So doing it ahead of time you can record it and make sure it’s correct. Help the audience live into the future of this idea in action. Think about how Kickstarter videos show happy people solving their burning issue happily with this product that they’re trying to kickstart. Continuing with the login limiter plugin story, I might say. So then I jumped into a Facebook group, and I did a search on website security. And many answers sent a too complex for what my tech knowledge was at the time. But one of them was simple to do, it was a plugin that would allow only three login attempts at a time, I thought, wow, this is something that can solve my immediate issue preventing most bots from trying to login. And then I might go into this is how it works, and then show a video of using it. I’m going to stop here and check in any questions at this point.

Me, okay, great. Number four, why is this good for the audience? And how does this idea or thing that you’re showing pay for itself? What’s the payoff? You have a great idea? Or you found a great solution? But why is this good for your audience? What that’s what they want to know, be clear and descriptive about the benefits use lots of adjectives, adjectives to describe how wonderful the future will be with this solution in place. So for my example, I might say, for those of you who are new to WordPress, like I was at the time, this is an easy way to prevent many hack attempts. And even if you’re more experienced with WordPress, and you know, more complex solutions, might still want to add this plug in for extra protection. Imagine never needing to wake up to see 500 emails in your inbox overnight about unrecognised login attempts. And then the last one is tell them what to do say, you know, here’s what we need to get going. How does the audience get started, by the time you get to the stage, they might be feeling excited and ready to do something. And especially at Tech talks, you know, we’re often teaching people how to do things. So it’s great if they want to actually go out and start doing it. So you can tell your audience what you want them to do, and make it easy for them to take action right away. So I might say, here’s the link, to download this plug in, put the link up on the screen. I’m going to say you know all these prompts are not things you’ll necessarily say in your speech, but it’s prompts to get you writing I have I do have a talk where I say this led to an idea, because I was using this formula. So if it fits, use it, you don’t have to use the exact prompt running. In summary of this formula, every speech should start with stating the burning issue, followed by a quick overview of a background and any supporting data, then a statement of the idea in a way that people can picture the payoff to the audience. And finally, how to get started. So we have an option here we can either if anybody wants to give us a go try it out, we’ll be out loud with us, we can do that. Or we can also look at another formula, which I do want to get to and just kind of checking kind of what order people are thinking.

Unknown Speaker 18:31
You mean, give an example of a fate in six, layout? Like how to fix the problem that you can joker?

Jill 18:38
Yeah, if anybody wants to think out loud and try the storytelling formula with us, or try writing it and then share it with us.

Unknown Speaker 18:48
Okay, I can try?

Jill 18:50
Yeah, I’ll share the screen with the steps

Unknown Speaker 18:56
through my notes of what you were saying in the chat, too, if anybody wants to

Jill 19:00
Oh, lovely, thank you.

Unknown Speaker 19:04
Alright, so first issue. For my work, I use a CRM constituent relationship management system. And when I’m using this system, we use it in conjunction with an email service, the email service and I also I receive data from my client, people that are in the organisation, so sometimes they want me to create an email, and they want me to use images and text. And I may have to translate that information into something that’s usable in the CRM slash email client system. So for instance, they might give me an EPG file or and I have to make sure that it’s in a format that’s acceptable to the you know, client so JPG or PNG might be acceptable. So I tried to put an email or sorry, an email into a file. And they rejected it told me it was too big. It also told me the form was not accepted by the system. So I was stuck. And I didn’t know what to do, it didn’t offer to convert it for me. So I did a Google search. And the Google search revealed a number of file converter services, I did not have a budget to pay for any conversion. And I was new to this, I didn’t know which word works. So I tried putting the image into a number of certain sites that said it was free. And then they were at the end, they would hijack me and say, Oh, you need to pay for this, or you need to do this, or, you know, you can’t do this can’t pay to create an account, I don’t want to create an account, I finally found a sir, a site that at the time worked, okay, and it was free. And it allowed me to make convergence for my images. So I would maybe show the image, there’s no, there’s no, um, let me show the site or show a Google search image of like coming up with this stuff. And then maybe think about, I’m not sure like, I didn’t saw this, I just did it by process of like searching. But there may be a better way to search out sites that worked. Best, the picture won’t look any different to them to your eye, when it’s converted to another type of image. Not to me anyway, the idea, fix the issue, I ended up using that site repeatedly, where I had the same issue coming back to it, and future. And so to solve it, I would just suggest understanding your learning more about your your email client as you’re using it. So you might want to get an idea of which types of files are accepted. And you may can relay that to your client so that they can send it to you in their format, if possible. And if not, you can easily convert it using the systems that you have knowledge of that meet your needs. And so that’s what I have. I just might tell them that this is some suggestions for sites like you can use them. Or they may have limitations on how many files you can convert per day. That’s pretty boring.

Jill 22:11
I think that is an amazing start for like, it sounds like dry topic. How do you write a story about it? I think the story is an amazing start for your story for it. It’s very real. And it literally shows, you know, your your thought process around, you know, coming up against this issue didn’t have the budget. A lot of people don’t think to Google, which is silly, but that happens. So reminding people, they can Google and like just because Google doesn’t mean they’re going to come up with the right thing right away. So you know, searching for the things that don’t have that paywall at the end are so frustrating. Yeah, I like it. Great. I think we can do is go through Formula Two now and then see if anybody wants to try either formula and see if we have time for questions. I’m going to go ahead and mute everyone. And let’s see if anybody has any urgent, burning questions right now, jump in, and otherwise, we’re moving forward. Great. So the next one, this one is actually a resource of seven structures. I’m going to put this link in the chat this is this is something that Danny gave us on a previous workshop, seven ways to structure your presentation to keep the audience wanting more. Here’s the link. And we are going to go through one of these together.

This was such a great find.

Help the images come up quickly, because I did want to show navigating to the relevant part of this page.

If it doesn’t come up, it is a good thing. I have an image on my next slide. This is this is an example of live demos. Don’t do it.

Okay, basically Lower down on this page, there’s a graphic that has all seven storytelling formats. All in a column. Oh, here we go. Okay. Okay, here we go. So we’re looking at the first one I thought was similar to the first formula, but different enough to show you know, slightly different format. And then the rest are a fair bit different. But I thought just for quickly grasping it in a workshop like this, where we’re going pretty quickly, it would be nice to do once similar, but still pretty different format. Yes, time, live coding is not worth it fact. Yes. But people video recording the coding. Partly, you know, is it really interesting to people and if it is them, recording it in advance and playing it, which is even easier now that we’re speaking online. But even prior to that, I would see people doing the showing the videos of it live at live events as well. So I want to show this format, that is fact and story. This structure is a presentation with a story structure moves back and forth between facts and stories between what is the present reality and what could be. In the beginning, you’ll be painting a picture of the realities of the audience’s current world. And then you’ve got a call to adventure create an imbalance by stating what could be juxtaposed to what is and that shows the gap between the two. And this is turning point one, and then back and forth. What could be what is what could be what is in the middle, there’s present, contrast and content alternating between what is and what could be, could be what is call to action, articulate the finish line that the audience is to cross, and then there’s the reward new bliss, right after turning point number two. on the site. The author of this article shows a TED talk by David McCandless about the beauty of data visualisation, and the author goes on to explain. David presents a collection of data visualisations, which he created himself along with the story of why he chose each particular set of data. And the topics he chose were extremely relevant to our present day and the audience related to all of the stories. The personal stories added to the intrigue and left the audience feeling like data, visualisations are not only beautiful, but also quite important. So that shows how to make a topic that can be very dry literally, data interspersing it with stories before showing each of the data visualisations. So, that is storytelling format. Number two, we have time, we have about 15 minutes ish for questions, people who want to try talking through either formula out loud. If you tell a story told the story before and want feedback of what could be improved, this is some open time for you. Or anything you want to add about storytelling in general. Doesn’t have to be questions, it must be comments. info about it. I’m going to stop the share and only share again. If we find there’s something on the screen you want to refer to. Nicole, I

Unknown Speaker 29:00
think you’re muted.

Unknown Speaker 29:09
I was talking about sorry. I was muted. I was asking do we only tell stories as an introduction in the beginning? Or do we? Can we tell stories in the middle? And also at the end?

Jill 29:25
Yeah, great question. So the question is, you know, where does the story go? And can we do it in these different ways? So the way that we present in the previous workshops about storytelling is saying it can be an entirely different format of talk instead of instead of just saying, this is how you do this thing, and recipe that people might not remember when they walk away. You could be telling the story overall, but along with this question, I’m going to say also, if you are doing How to bring dump story or some other or how to brain dump presentation, or some other format that isn’t actually storytelling. stories can go anywhere, anytime is a good time. In a talk enough public speaking presentation for a story about to say anytime is a good time for a story. But that’s not necessarily true in real life. But on stage, it’s really helpful. So for example, a few of us were doing a talk at wordcamp. us last year on creating a an inclusive and welcoming space. And each of these was actually pretty heavy with theory. And what we did is we started off each section before talking about the theory, we went through a real irrelevant story that taught that showed the importance or sure showed where we got this information from. So one person told the story about being a theatre kid, and what the experiences of being included were like there, I told a story about how our venue wasn’t accessible, it was up three quick, crooked flights of stairs. And once we moved to a venue with an elevator, we had a lot more people come out who had previously had troubles with those stairs.

Unknown Speaker 31:13
Thank you.

Jill 31:14
Yeah. Are you thinking about? I think about a talk in particular, and trying to figure out where the story might go.

Unknown Speaker 31:22
Um, well, I’m a digital marketing instructor so and I teach to like small groups, like maybe 10 or 12 students. So I was, I’m trying to make it more engaging and more interactive. I’ve noticed that after one hour, they’re falling asleep.

Jill 31:44

Unknown Speaker 31:46

Jill 31:46
I do believe that storytelling is very powerful in those education settings. And Danny, not to put you on the spot. But being a professional educator, you might have some thoughts to add to that. And if you don’t, that’s okay.

Unknown Speaker 32:05
I think you nailed it, I think.

Jill 32:11
Yeah, I would say if you can intersperse the stories and the lesson plans, that might not only keep people’s attention, but also for a kind of a variety of rhythm. Because it’s all the same kind of info the entire three hours, or whatever it is, it’s harder for people to absorb. But if it goes, story, data, lessons story, and mixing it out might be really helpful. And even starting the whole thing with a story. So people get invested in why it’s important to learn how to do this thing. Although my instinct is saying, probably still good to mix it up with a story partway through, not just at the start in that particular situation.

Unknown Speaker 32:57
The other thing I have seen is, and this goes kind of, along with gamification of the course is, and I’ll go back, I’ll look, I’ve got some business related books that are built around the story. There’s like a story. And then inside that story, there’s the lessons, there are the lessons, but there’s like an overarching story that goes across the whole thing. And I know, I’ve read about when people do that, that, you know, here’s the story. And here’s what the lesson is. And then the students create their own project, it’s project based learning, you know, where then that story, they, they create their own story that that’s, that carries across the whole series of lessons. So it might be if it’s marketing, and it’s there, it might be what their own business they could do in their own business, or, or, or, you know, create a project for the course that all the lessons tie into building up on that. Because in marketing, your lessons are going to build over time anyway, right? So they can create if they don’t have a business, or they’re just starting out, even if they’re just starting out, they can imagine, you know what that story would be in their business and how it would go that you haven’t had the story? go across the whole aisle? Why don’t I look quick for those titles,

Jill 34:30
and easily teach digital marketing? Nicole?

Unknown Speaker 34:32
I do. Yeah. So that

Jill 34:33
that feels like a good type. There’s can be some really great storytelling in there. Partly, a lot of digital marketing should have storytelling, but also the stories of, you know, this company went from one customer to 1000 customers and this is how, you know, there’s some really powerful bark, you know, successful marketing has an inherent story built into it already. And even if you do the fictitious thing of what could happen if you don’t have a specific example that actually works as well.

Unknown Speaker 35:06
So I could, I could take a case study and just turn it into a story format.

Jill 35:11
Yeah. And actually, case studies are, when we have our list of the different types of top formats, we separate out stories and case studies. and case studies are just as interesting as stories are, so you can combine them or do it separately. Case stories often sort of ours case stories. He studies, often our stories, but with less of the drama. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 35:38
All right. Thank

Jill 35:39
you. Yeah, you’re welcome. And now I’m thinking a little bit about times situation time, do I recall correctly that you are doing the things that you’re thinking about? learning are for community building? If I recall.

Unknown Speaker 35:57
So I mean, like, yeah, I want to do tech talks. So I’m probably going to, I am interested in community building, but I think that I have to do talks that are based on like, technical content, like sending free stuff like that. Yeah, it’s about your expertise.

Jill 36:19
only person who has amazing advanced knowledge.

Unknown Speaker 36:26
Yeah, I’ve learned that in that in software engineering, a lot people just read documentation and regurgitate it.

Jill 36:33
Exactly. That is. So that’s one of the things that the word WordPress deputies are working against that not working against, but they want to mix it up with different types of talks. So the person who gets up and says, you know, in my example, here’s the login limiter plugin, here’s how to use it. Here’s, you know, maybe maybe somebody needs to do some coding for it. Here’s the PHP dap to edit it. Like that’s, that has its place as well. But it’s, it’s a lot more powerful to do more storytelling with it. And when we started this work, our focus was more specifically around women. And the rest of us were saying this is perfect, because vague generalisations, a lot of women are powerful storytellers. And so we can amplify that. I feel bad saying that I might scrub that out of the video, I think I’m going to go back to the officially sanctioned things, which for sure, you know, a lot of us feel loving, no matter how much we know, a lot of us are stopped by our imposter syndrome. And having a story to tell. Makes it you know, there’s less of that fear, right? So it doesn’t sound like you necessarily have this fear. So I’m talking about people in general have that? You know, yes, I’ve coded this thing. But what if people ask me tough, tough questions about it, or told me I did it wrong. But if I told my story about how I did it, then, you know, people can’t do that same kind of attacking because it’s just my story. And it is my expertise, my story.

Unknown Speaker 38:16
I would say that you have to approach things differently.

Unknown Speaker 38:21
It’s a little bit of

Jill 38:24
quality out there.

Unknown Speaker 38:26
Yeah. Oh, you after 2pm? how somebody handles that the questions.

Unknown Speaker 38:31
Oh, dear.

Unknown Speaker 38:36
Yeah, so like what I’ve done so far, in my medium blog, when I’ve had to write a free a few tech articles is I would take technical concepts, and I would create analogies of relatable real world concepts. So in order to explain a synchronicity in JavaScript, I made the analogy for going to Starbucks and ordering coffee, and the process behind the counter, and how it was asynchronous

Jill 38:59
that that’s a great story. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 39:03
I did a blog on twins for passed by value versus passed by reference. And the fact that like an array that has the same inputs is not the same. So I created twins are the same thing. They look like they’re the same, but they’re not. Hmm. Okay. Yeah. So that’s what I’ve done so far.

Jill 39:27
Yeah, yeah. You sound like you have such high level knowledge. And it’s the kind of thing that people at the same level that you’re at will have no problem following. People like me or not so advanced. Storytelling you really, okay.

Unknown Speaker 39:45
People want to write the story so anybody can read them so that anybody can understand the concept. And like so I have my Quaker mentor read it and she read it and she doesn’t do coding at all. She understood. I mean, she was able to follow along and also put like a song in it. I put a huge I put a YouTube video in.

Jill 40:02
Yeah. Oh, how fine. Yeah, I love that. I should add that to the reasons for storytelling because more people can follow it.

Unknown Speaker 40:13
That’s cool. You break it up like that, because it’s different sensory input than just,

Unknown Speaker 40:19
yeah, what’s my favourite blog post? I’ll send you guys a link to it.

Jill 40:22
Yeah, please. I’m going to note that Tara said a few minutes ago, I’m sorry, I have to hop off to get ready for a presentation. I’m inspired to make it more story driven, immediate results.

I’ll be very curious to hear to hear how teros presentation goes. If they do start doing that immediately. While you’re sharing that link, I will do the last few minutes of wrap up items. So I’m going to go ahead and share my screen.

So what is next, I’m going to go ahead and mute you while I do this section. What is next? So first of all, we don’t have official types of these types of workshops scheduled for the rest of the year. We do have discussions, which I’ll mention in a moment. But what I want to draw your attention to is this long link right here that I’m going to put in the chat. We change the format of how we’re doing our work for 2020. And we want to reimagine, again, what we might do in 2021. And so this is asking the community for your input, we are reimagining you know, the the goal is get more diverse speaker lineups. And as a result of that other wonderful things happen like more people become organisers and leaders in the community, which is ultimately what we want. We want not just one kind of person making the decisions, we would love many kinds of people making the decisions, which makes everything better for everyone. So the world is changing so fast, we would love people’s input on how do you envision we can be doing this work in 21 2021 kinds of obstacles are you seeing that came out of 2020 that we should be thinking about? We also do my speaking about the discussions? No. So I mentioned as well. We do have people running discussion groups about the workshops. So we have our core workshops, which were not the ones that we did this week, we did advanced ones, but the core ones that we have are on Learn And you are invited to watch the videos in your own time and then come together for live discussions that are scheduled on So you can find the workshops on WordPress slash slash learn. And then you go over to And they put the links to the workshops that are relevant for each discussion. And our workshops have become quite popular and quite a few people are at least at least two people, perhaps more are running these discussions. So for example, just yesterday, we had to be speaking and finding a topic for a WordPress event. And that is something we’re actually looking for more discussion facilitators as well, it’s a really easy way to have the work to keep going because you don’t have to learn how to run the workshop. We have pre written questions for you to ask people if they’re not doing much speaking on their own. And if they are, then you’re just facilitating the discussion. And the only requirement is having watched the workshop, which is also useful. I would love to get your feedback about how these workshops have been going. And if you do fill that out, then I have some speaker resources and one on one mentoring available for you. Especially if you’re planning on speaking at WordPress events.

Unknown Speaker 44:28

Jill 44:30
and also if you got value from it this week, and you do feel like your public speaking confidence went up at all since the score that you put in your original ticket. It is really valuable to be able to say to the WordPress community, hey, people’s public speaking confidence went up by this amount this week. So if that is something that you’re willing to float, that’s very helpful for us. And if your public speaking confidence didn’t go up at all. I would love to hear that as well. We have some volunteer opportunities, discussion facilitators that I mentioned, mentors. If we do continue these types of workshops, we are looking for mentors like O’Neill and Danny and Tara, who can help answer questions, help make sure the background things are going smoothly. Because, you know, there’s several things going on the background, etc. And speaking of background on our team that meets every other week, there’s always background admin work that helps everything goes smoothly. So if you’re the person who doesn’t want to be leading things, helping with spreadsheets, helping getting information into the hands of marketing, things like that people who like data, and and the details of making things go, we have admin items for you. So I want to say thank you. This is officially the end of the workshop today. Thank you so much for being here. I will again stay on for any extra questions or comments for a little bit. I’m pretty sure time might have something to add. And time added in the chat. Here’s a link to one of my medium posts. That is great. I will copy that to read later for sure. And Danny also added story based business books, the three signs of a miserable job, the Five Dysfunctions of a team and velocity. Great. Thank you for that. Thank you so much for being here, everyone. official end I’m going to stop the recording now.

Unknown Speaker 46:40
Thank you Jill.

Jill 46:42
You’re welcome.

Workshop Details



I lead the Diverse Speaker Training group in the 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.