The post you don’t want to read on the topic I don’t want to write about

I’m going to give you a phrase of power. Use it wisely. Ready?

I want to hear what you have to say.

If you know a developer who ought to be presenting at conferences or writing blog posts and isn’t, deploy that phrase. Say to him or her, “I wish you would submit a talk to [conference user group] on [subject of expertise] because you have good ideas, and I want to hear your thoughts on the subject.”

You feel exasperated about your powerlessness to change the lack of diversity in our profession? To the point that you feel antagonized just hearing about it? Me, too. This is something you can do. A personal appeal, delivered one-on-one, can do so much good. Do it.

I resisted Twitter forever because, every time I asked someone why I should sign up, they answered with something irrelevant about all the funny things you could read, or whatever. No one ever said, “I wish you’d join Twitter, Sharon, because I want to hear what you have to say.

How many of us dismiss those calls for speakers, thinking “What would I talk about? I’m not doing anything cutting-edge”? Imagine if someone encouraged you, reminded you of a skill you’ve forgotten is interesting and valuable, simply asked you to share your knowledge and ideas. Would that feel empowering? Do that for someone.

A lot of you wish our industry were more diverse. You’d welcome it if it could somehow happen. But it feels like a problem far bigger than the reach of one person. Scarily so, if you want my take on it. This, however, we can do, one person, by one person, by one person:

I want to hear what you have to say.

How Not to Say “Um” When Presenting