Speaker Mentors at DjangoCon US

For first-time speakers, non-native English speakers, unconfident or uncertain speakers or simply anyone who'd like some help with a talk - here are some people who'd like to help you.

Speaking in front of a large audience doesn't come easily to many people. Our conference audiences are full of interesting people with interesting things to say - who remain in the audience because for whatever reason, they didn't feel confident enough to submit a talk proposal.

We know those people exist, because we meet them at every event, and it's always a shame to discover that someone had an interesting talk in them but kept it there.

How the program works

To help more people feel comfortable taking the step to submit a talk, we have a speaker mentor program. A speaker mentor is an experienced speaker, who has volunteered to help other speakers.

It could be any kind of help, for any kind of reason: anything from someone who can advise on whether your idea for a talk is a good one to someone who'll be happy to hear you practice it; even someone who'll agree to be the session chair for your talk at the event. You tell us what kind of help you'd like.

And it could be because you're not confident about your English, because you're a nervous speaker, because you've never done a talk before - it doesn't matter why, the point is that if you'd like help, we can put you in touch with someone suitable to help you.

If you'd particularly like a speaker mentor who's familiar with a particular subject, who speaks your native language, a female mentor - again, just tell us what will help you.

Remember, we don't want to be proud because we had a lot of superstar speakers at our conference. We want to be proud because we were the conference where you began your superstar speaking career.*


Here's a list of people who have agreed to be speaker mentors, and will be genuinely delighted to be asked to help. And if you'd like to be on the list, please just drop us a line.

Andrew Godwin @andrewgodwin
Aeronaut, database expert, core team member, holds the world DjangoCon attendance record

Barbara Shaurette @bshaurette
Co-creator of Young Coders Learning Python workshops and co-founder of DjangoGirls Austin

Daniele Procida @evildmp
DjangoCon organizer, Italian/French speaker

Eric Holscher @ericholscher
Co-founder of "Read the Docs" and Co-organizer of "Write the Docs" conference

Idan Gazit @idangazit
Django core developer and lead designer

Justin Abrahms @justinabrahms
Runs product engineering sprint.ly and Quick Left, Inc.

Kenneth Love @kennethlove
Teacher, author of the "Getting Started With Django" video series

Mark Lavin @drohyes
Co-author of "Lightweight Django" for O'Reilly Media

Russell Keith-Magee @freakboy3742
Django Software Foundation President, physicist, Australian

Thanks to DjangoCon Europe for inspiration and for sharing their content copy.