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Feb 6, 2014
PLUG: Public Speaking is the Greatest Skill You Can Possess
PSU Maseeh Engineering Building

The Portland Linux/Unix Group: Portland's monthly, three-track tech conference, celebrating its 20th anniversary this spring!

  • Who: Brian Rohan and Michael Dexter
  • What: Public Speaking is the Greatest Skill You Can Possess
  • Where: PSU, 1930 SW 4th Ave. Room FAB 86-01 (Lower Level)
  • When: Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 7pm
  • Why: The pursuit of technology freedom
  • Stream:

Brian and Michael are back to teach you everything you ever wanted to know about speaking at an open source from PLUG (hint hint) to OSCON.

Brian has years as an experienced Distinguished Toastmaster (beer available at the Lucky Lab NW after the meeting) and Michael has just submitted his paper for the upcoming AsiaBSDCon conference on a topic he had previously known nothing about.

Why should you give a talk?

  • You are guaranteed to have a unique topic, experience and perspective
  • Audiences are far kinder than you expect (only pros get boo'd!)
  • Visuals are always optional and are flexible in format
  • No one was born a public speaker, it's simply a learned skill
  • There are great resources out there to help you
  • Most things that go wrong have nothing to do with you (Tsunamis!)
  • Live demos are... risky, but useful
  • The LFNW and other CFP's close shortly (hint hint)

Highlight from our Advanced Topics talk: (paraphrased) "My mom got more value out of learning to community with Toastmasters than two years of a (VERY impressive school) scholarship."

YOU may change careers a dozen times in your life and need a new skill set for each job but will ALWAYS need to express yourself and communicate on behalf of yourself and your team. Let PLUG be that first step in what could be worth more than a (VERY impressive school) scholarship!

Brian says:

In 2007 I made the switch from being a machinist to a real estate agent, shortly thereafter I was invited to investigate a Toastmasters club, in order to become a better communicator. Through 5 years and over 40 speeches in Toastmasters I reached the highest level of Distinguished Toastmaster. Simply stepping out of my comfort zone has given me the opportunity introduce dignitaries, and MC fund-raising events for worthwhile causes (notably a record breaking Clark County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner auction). Currently I am a recognized top 2% leader in AdvoCare International, helping others achieve their physical and financial goals.

I enjoy using Linux on a personal level for the freedom that it represents.

"You never get rid of public speaking butterflies, you just get them to fly in formation: ~Marv Serhan

Michael says:

Never in a 1,000 years will I speak in public yet I find myself doing it several times a month in Portland and at conferences around the world. I guarantee I'm no Brian Rohan but I fill rooms and get applause. The secret is finding the right room and just doing it. I will talk about the absolute worst that can happen (rarely what you think it would be), the open source conference community and how to get from submitting a proposal to stepping down from the stage.

Oct 27, 2014
West side Toastmasters Open House
Beaverton Activities Center

Hello Everybody: We're having an open house for our club. Toastmasters can help you get ready for that tech talk you've been wanting to do.

If you have a fear of speaking publicly our club can help. We meet Monday nights after work over at the Beaverton Activity/Resource Center at Hall and Allen. We start at 6:30pm and end by 8pm. It's a relaxed atmosphere where everyone who wants to can work on their speaking skills.

No need to hide any longer. This will give you the skills you need for your elevator speech or having the courage to speak to that stranger next to you.

Our open house will let you see what happens during a regular club meeting. There are lots of clubs to go to. Our next open house is October 27, 2014, 6:30pm corner of Hall & Allen.

Refreshments will be provided.

Beaverton Activities Center 12500 SW Allen Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005

Jan 21, 2015
Not Public Speaking: Facilitation 101

Pitches. Workshops. Conferences. The dreaded "professional development" credits. Pretty much every time someone tries to teach us something, it's boring. That's because they're just talking.

Learn how to stop talking and start actually teaching. The next workshop in this series on education design is all about learning the tools of the trade for facilitation, workshops, demo's, pitches, and every other learning experience you can think of. Learn how to own what you say and bring people into your product or service experience as customers!

Jan. 21, 3-5pm @ Hatch on NE 24th and Sandy

Free for Hatch members, $5-10 sliding scale for nonmembers

RSVP here: (

Some basics: Even if you’ve never taught before, don’t like public speaking, or hate to get up and talk, this workshop can help you reach your facilitation goals. Learn how a few simple tools can help you use educational workshops, demo’s, or other learning experiences to build your brand, business, and audience.

You'll leave with a lot more than you came with, trust me. See you soon!

Sep 5, 2018
Women Talk: Conferences

A panel of brilliant women sharing their experiences and advice for speaking at tech and design conferences

Women Talk Design is on a mission to see diverse speakers on stage. In this panel discussion, we've invited incredible women who have spoken at design and tech conferences and public events to share their experiences. Learn how they got their first speaking engagement, what conferences they attend, how they prepare for giving a talk, and what advice they have for those getting started. We hope you'll leave inspired to share your own ideas and experiences, and get out there and speak.


6:30 - 6:50 - Meet and mingle

6:50 - 8:15 - Panel & Q&A

8:15 - 8:30 - More networking

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

The event is open to everyone. Please take a moment to read through Women Talk Design's Code of Conduct before RSVPing.

By registering for this workshop, you recognize that photographs will be taken during the event, that may be used in press and marketing materials for Women Talk Design. If you would like to opt out, please let the registration desk know when you check in, or send us an email at [email protected].

Feb 5, 2020
300 Seconds PDX
Connective DX Community Room


We can address this challenge by creating space for women* and other underrepresented groups of speakers to get their start.

We believe that the world is better when we can learn from the brilliance of the many, not just the few. 300 Seconds events give our peers, and in particular women, a means of gaining confidence and experience speaking in public.

We give new speakers the opportunity to gain confidence and improve speaking skills in a safe, supportive environment. Our veteran speakers volunteer their time to sharpen up presentations, provide support, connections, and tips on shaping a personal brand.

*By women we mean all women (trans, intersex and cis), all those who experience oppression as women (including non-binary and gender non-conforming people) and all those who identify as women.