Black and white 1917 photo of a woman speaking from a balcony. A sign saying “National American Woman Suffrage Association” is partly visible beneath her.

I help organize PyGotham TV, NYC’s annual conference about the Python programming language, plus an eclectic mix of policy, culture, open source software, and hacks. For the last few years we’ve provided speakers with the services of a professional speaking coach, opera singer Melissa Collom (she’s also coached PyTennessee and PyOhio speakers). In the past we limited coaching to first-time speakers, but we can coach everyone now. If your talk was accepted to PyGotham 2021, we sent you an email with instructions for signing up for coaching, and I urge you to do so: nothing will improve the quality of your presentation, and your enjoyment of it, like an hour with Melissa.

What’s a coaching session like? Melissa will ask about your experience and your confidence level. Together you’ll clarify your goals for this talk, your intended audience, and your main message. Then you’ll run through one or more sections of your talk, and Melissa will give customized coaching. She’ll help you organize your content and focus on your main message, and she’ll train you to use posture, pacing, and your voice to engage the audience.

Coaching is for anyone who wants to raise their profile in the community, or just give a great talk. First time speakers and veterans can benefit: I’m a veteran and I hire Melissa regularly.

Read what speakers said in 2017, 2018, and 2019. (I didn’t collect speakers' feedback in 2020, I was having a weird year.)

And if you’re preparing a talk for something other than PyGotham, Melissa’s available for hire!

Image: Miss Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, speaking from the balcony of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Monday, April 2, 1917. By C. T. Chapman, Kensington, Md. (Photographer).