At Reframe Women in Tech, we’re passionate about creating a stage for first-time and inexperienced speakers to take to the stage and kick off their public speaking journeys. In 2022 we received an application from one such speaker who despite saying she wasn’t ready for the main stage at Reframe Women in Tech had submitted an application for just that, perhaps a panel slot or something else said the application.
We know a keynote speaker when we see one and in March 2023 Yasmin Sidat joined us to deliver a keynote address. We sat down and chatted with her about the experience, why she decided to get involved and the impact Reframe has had on her career and public speaking goals.
What prompted you to apply to speak at Reframe Women in Tech
I applied because I attended the event the previous year and I had never done a large conference before, nothing to that scale. When I attended the previous year I felt like it was a safe space and I thought it was well structured, great attendees & inclusive. When I got asked to be a keynote speaker, I was pretty nervous but I have a habit of throwing myself in the deep end and it helps me to adapt my skills faster. I also wanted to bring a diverse perspective to the conference and inspire more women and underrepresented women in the workplace.
How does Reframe Women in Tech make starting a public speaking journey accessible?
The opportunity is open for anyone to apply and it doesn’t target experienced speakers, it’s more about the individual, their journey & story. It creates a fair space for all women of all abilities and it gave someone like me, who had never done this before a bold opportunity. The team is also really supportive throughout and you will have plenty of time to prepare. It gave me the time to get internal coaching through AutoTrader and that helped me with my keynote speech too.
I had clear instructions of what was required & the lead up which gave me time to rehearse. I also had pre-calls to ask more questions and to run through my ideas which was really helpful.
How would you describe your experience as a speaker for Reframe Women in Tech?
It was brilliant and it goes down as an achievement of a lifetime. I felt like once I did that, I could achieve anything in my career. The day itself was really empowering with brilliant women under one roof and when you are up on that stage, you can see genuine enthusiasm for you and what you have to say. I was well supported and myself and Amy, another keynote were both speaking together and it was lovely to share this with someone at the same time.
Why do you think it is important to champion first-time speakers?
For first-time speakers, there’s a growth process that you will go through to get up on a stage and prepare and talk in a cohesive way. It improves confidence which helps you in your general day-to-day work and life. It also impacts on personal branding, creating exposure for women which can open up several other doors. For the audience, it helps them learn from people they might not necessarily see or meet in other popular spaces. It creates value both ways.
Want to follow in Yasmin’s footsteps and speak at Reframe Women in Tech? Speaker applications open soon!