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SPEAKING ::

Whether you’ve never spoken in front of a crowd or you’ve been on the professional speaking circuit, SpeakOUT invites you to join our team of volunteer speakers.

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 LGBTQIA
* 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:

Participate in 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.

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 *LGBTQIA = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer & Questioning, Intersex, Asexual & Allies