I want to raise $1200 for public-speaking coaching for first-time speakers at PyGotham, the New York City Python conference. Will you chip in?

Update: As of September 19, we have reached our original $1200 goal. Thanks everyone! I’ve set a new stretch goal: $1800. This will allow an additional five speakers receive professional coaching, and it allows us to offer coaching to all speakers, not just first-time speakers.

PyGotham has many first-time speakers this year. I think the conference can welcome a more diverse group of speakers and advance their careers if we offer professional coaching. Every $120 I raise will buy one speaker a session with speaking coach Melissa Collom. She’s a professional opera singer and she’s been a featured speaker at the Write/Speak/Code conference for women in tech, and Pivotal Labs’ tech talk series. She is a national trainer for the New Leaders Council. She combines vocal techniques, cognitive science, and narrative principles to help speakers give persuasive talks.

I’m a PyGotham conference organizer, but I’m launching this fundraiser independently of PyGotham. I believe that every speaker needs a coach, and I’ve personally benefitted from Melissa’s guidance in my tech talks at PyCon, PyGotham, and OSCON. Together, you and I can sponsor a coaching session with Melissa for each new speaker at PyGotham, and ensure they have the skill and confidence to give great talks.

(Details: this is not tax-deductible, but I’ll give you a receipt and confirm with you that a speaker received coaching because of your generosity.)

Image: Sylvia Pankhurst advocating for women’s suffrage.