Ladies in Tech Celebrates One Year!

By Jenn Lukas

A week ago on Wednesday, Ladies in Tech celebrated one year of being launched! When I registered the domain 5 years ago, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with it, but through a lot of brainstorming, discussions, and the help of many, I’m so thrilled with everything we’ve done in the last year and super looking forward to the next year!

What we’ve done so far!

Published inspiring and helpful articles

Have you read all of our articles from our fabulous authors? We wanted to share stories from females in the tech speaking arena about how to get into public speaking, why you should public speak, and advice on presenting.

  • Steph Hay encourages ladies to step up and also covers that it’s okay to be “rejected” by conferences (and bravely shares her list).
  • Leslie Jensen-Inman shares with us her awesome list of questions to ask yourself, others, and organizers when preparing for a talk. Things like “What are your goals for the event?” and “Will the event’s audience gain something from my participation? Will I?” that will help get you ready for taking the stage.
  • Estelle Weyl walks us through practical tips around how to submit a talk, and details on multiple proposals, topics, headshots, and more.
  • Yesenia Perez-Cruz recommends finding a speaking buddy and explores the benefits of speaking on a panel.
  • Whitney Hess shares the fear that paralyzed her when her talk was accepted, resulting in a lack of slides and late night talk preparation before presenting, but what she learns from that is amazing beneficial and the outcome is worth it.
  • Emliy Lewis looks at overcoming stage fright and tactics she takes to help conquer that and how she handles rehearsals.
  • Laura Kalbag writes about how asking for help when your confidence might need a boost, is totally okay.
  • Angela Colter explains that it’s important to make yourself comfortable both mentally and physically and how conference orgaziners can help with that. Both parts can affect your speaking performance and she teaches us how to plan for that.
  • Rachel Nabors writes about how to find a great talk idea. With awesome advice about choosing the topic that is right for you and the conference.
  • Sophie Shepherd shares how her first talk went and how she managed to get over her nerves and jump in.
  • Lea Alcantara talks to us about choices when it comes to speaking, how that can help fulfill your career, and includes a rad quote from Dune.
  • Rachel Lovinger talks about being a misfit and how your differences can make you a great speaker.
  • Raquel Vélez touches on the topic of taking care of ourselves and how to handle conference season, which sometimes can mean saying ‘no’ to a conference invitation.
  • Stacey Mulcahy lets us know about her mild case of anomic aphasia and how rehearsing isn’t the best approach for her and why you have to find the techniques that work for you.
  • Tiffani Jones-Brown writes about why she speaks and the benefits (better writing, sharpened feelings) that come with the public speaking world.
  • Rebecca Murphey tackles what to talk about in your background story (or not talk about), how to project confidence, and some Keynote presenter layout tips.
  • Val Head suggests that starting local is a great way to break into public speaking, with events like meetups and Refresh events.
  • Just yesterday, Jenn Downs explains why watching vidoes of your talks might seem painful, but how much you can learn from them.
  • And I talked about leading by example, hoping the more women we have on stage, the more women will submit to conferences and the gender numbers will gradually even out.

Giveaways

We gave away free tickets to four conferences this year! Not only were the conference organizers super awesome to collaborate on the giveaway, but they also shared insights on how they run their conferences and choose their lineups. So cool.

Started a podcast

Val Head and I got together and started recording a podcast last November! It’s a short format show, under 20 minutes, in which we invite guests on that have experience in public speaking and ask them to share some of their stories and advice about the subject. Subscribe on iTunes and catch up on all the episodes!

Scheduled our first meetup

I started the Meetup group at site launch and have always wanted to get readers of the site together in the same room to work on areas related to public speaking. Now that the rhythm of the site content is pretty solid, we have scheduled our first meetup! It’s taking place February 25th in Philadelphia. Our guest, Sara Wachter-Boettcher will cover turning talk ideas into abstracts and we’ll have discussion around submitting talks and speaking at conferences. If you’re in the area, come join us!

What’s next!

More articles

We took a short break to focus on the podcast, but starting this week, you’ll see more articles on the site again. Jenn Downs shared a great article yesterday and we are always open to more ideas! Get in touch if you’d like to write for the site.

More meetups

We plan for our next meetup to happen in the spring. We have a few different ideas for meetup topics. Some will be one-offs and some repeating formats. For our next one, we’ll invite you to share a lightning talk and offer video recording so you can see how you do. Sound painful? Don’t worry, we promise that it’s an awesome tool to help you improve and feel more comfortable. We’ll also be having future meetups with more guest speakers and roundtables to discuss everything related to public speaking.

On air hangouts

We receive a lot of great questions about public speaking and the topic of being a lady in technology. We’ve been trying to find a good place to answer those questions and we’re looking to schedule some Hangout On Air to answer those questions and discuss other user-submitted questions very soon!

Future collaborations

We work in a medium that makes it really easy for us to connect with each other and we are looking forward to doing just that! We have a few podcast crossovers in the works with some other podcasts that we adore.

We’re also super excited to be collaborating with two of my favorite buds, Girl Develop It Philadelphia and Happy Cog, on a Q&A style panel during Philly Tech Week. Hope you can join us on April 9th.

Other chapters and a conference

We’ve heard from quite a few of you that you would love to have a meetup like our first one in a location close to you! Some of you have reached out to get involved with that. So awesome! We will be fine tuning details on this after our first meetup to add some guidance and structure on how to make that work.

The long, long goal? A conference about public speaking. Is that too meta? We hope not! We think it would be really cool!

Thanks

I wanted to share our goals with you as Ladies in Tech has been a project of love, friendship, and a super fabulous audience. Working on side projects alone can be tough and with the help of so many people this site went from a domain I owned for years by myself to a launched collaboration of awesome. If you have any ideas or want to know how to contribute, we are always open to new writer and ideas. Interested in sponsoring? We have a page for that, too! Also we’d love to know how the site has affected you! Hop on over to our contact form and let us know your thoughts.

Thank you so much for everyone who has read, listened, sponsored, tweeted about, and contributed to Ladies in Tech! It’s great to read how the site has inspired you and your stories. I want to high five all of you! You folks are the best.

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