In 2016, Keir Bowden and I started a program called Speaker Academy. The aim of Speaker Academy was to help encourage new and diverse voices into speaking roles at Salesforce events. The catalyst for this program was a Salesforce event where not one woman was speaking in the Developer Theatre. We ventured a guess that it wasn’t entirely due to the lack of representation, we’d been running the Developer User Group and WiT for years at this point and knew these people existed! We made an assumption it was a combination of encouragement and skill that people needed to make the leap onto the stage. So we embedded both of these elements into the core of our curriculum and gave it a go. Over the last four years, we have graduated more than 50 people from our in person and online Speaker Academies and the people we’ve trained have gone on to have great success. Our graduates have spoken numerous times at community groups, World Tours, community conferences and even Dreamforce! A number of blog posts have been written on starting our program, but here is the very first post about this, almost 4 years ago to the day.
As Keir mentions in his most recent post, it’s been a challenge now that I am back US. Times that work for both of us don’t quite work with an eight hour time difference, therefore we decided to split up our efforts and take on new co instructors.* Keir has already mentioned that he has teamed up with Speaker Academy graduate and prominent London community member, Julia Doctoroff. Not to be outdone on this side of the pond, I am excited to announce that I am teaming up with Amber Boaz for teaching our US based classes. I feel like I should probably write an introduction for Amber, but not sure one is really needed. Amber has been a fixture of the Salesforce Community for a long time and has incredible insights to share around speaking at community events, which makes her the perfect co instructor for our new US based sessions.
If you are interested in Speaker Academy and if this sounds like the program for you, please fill out our form so you can be considered for our next round.
*Keir and I reserve the right to still gate crash each other’s sessions and make guest appearances!