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The Power of Mentorship in Speaker Development

By Abbi Leverton

"Hi I’m Abbi, I work with RecWorks on the Aspiring Women Speakers group."

In the exhilarating world of public speaking, mentors and role models play a vital role in shaping one's journey and fostering growth. Aspiring Women Speakers (AWS) have engaged in enlightening discussions on the significance of mentorship and how it influences their development as speakers. Let's delve into the experiences and perspectives shared by AWS members on the impact of mentorship in their speaking careers.

Carly Richmond, Developer Advocate at Elastic, highlights the transformative influence of mentors and role models in her speaking journey: "Both mentors and role models have been pivotal in me getting into public speaking." Through their guidance, Carly found the confidence to take the stage and now pays it forward by being a role model to others embarking on their speaking journey. Mentors and role models dispel myths and break barriers, making speaking seem accessible to everyone.

Helen Scott, Developer Advocate at JetBrains, who has experienced both sides of mentorship, emphasizes its importance: "Having been on the receiving end of mentoring and now mentoring others, I see a lot of value in this kind of relationship." Mentors can offer nudges of encouragement and support during challenging moments, and Helen's experience co-presenting with a mentor proved to be incredibly valuable, allowing her to learn from one of the best in the industry.

Angela Channer, Principal Software Craftsperson at Codurance, cherishes her support system, her cheerleaders, who boost her confidence while providing constructive feedback: "I have my cheerleaders of sorts, they’re happy to build my confidence… but also happy to tell me where I can improve during practice and take the mickey afterwards (not in a horrible way!)" Encouragement and constructive critique go hand in hand in speaker development.

Shivani Gaba, Engineering Manager at, shares her enriching experience with mentorship, learning from Maaret: "I was mentored by Maaret and got guidance from her on how to structure my talk, tips on how to present and interact with the audience etc. Now being a successful speaker myself, I try to pass on what I got". Mentorship not only equips speakers with presentation skills but also helps them grab opportunities they were not aware of before.

In conclusion, AWS members have experienced the profound impact of mentorship in their speaking journeys. Mentors and role models break down barriers, instill confidence, and provide invaluable support, enabling aspiring speakers to thrive. Embracing the mentorship relationship, whether as a mentee or mentor, enriches the speaking community, fostering growth and success for all.

If you would like to find a mentor for your own speaking journey, join the Aspiring Women Speakers Slack group and let me know you’d like to be connected!


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