never spoken in front of a crowd or youve been on the professional
speaking circuit, SpeakOut invites you to join our team of volunteer
Our format is simple yet effective: We tell our stories speaking
only from our own experience, which no one can refute. In keeping with
our motto "Ask Us Anything," we answer audience questions
honestly and openly. In our 30 years of experience, we have found that
this approach helps put audiences at ease and helps build greater understanding
about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender lives and issues.
We almost never send a speaker out alone. Our speakers generally conduct
speaking engagements in groups of 2 or more ideally with a mix
of genders, sexual orientations and/or gender identities.
Engagement sponsors work with SpeakOut staff in advance to help inform
speakers about the size, age range and relevant background of the audience,
the purpose of the engagement, and any particular topics that the sponsor
would or would not like addressed.
Everyone interested in becoming a volunteer speaker must follow the
same training procedure:
our award-winning speaker
training. The training includes opportunities for speakers to practice
crafting their stories and answering questions in small groups, with
feedback from other trainees and from veteran SpeakOut members.
Observe 2-3 actual
SpeakOut engagements. There is no better way to prepare than to see
our volunteers in action with live audiences.
If the SpeakOut
staff determine that you are ready to speak, you may sign up for an
upcoming engagement and be paired with a veteran speaker.
Novice and veteran speakers alike may strengthen their skills and receive
valuable feedback from other speakers by attending a "Telling Our
Stories" workshop. These informal sessions may offer advanced training
on a particular topic or may be open-ended for participants to share
concerns or strategies of their own. For a schedule of upcoming "Telling
Our Stories" workshops, visit the News
& Events page.