My experience with the AWS Community 'New Voices' Program

My experience with the AWS Community 'New Voices' Program

My best part of the year as a Community Builder in 2023? It was to be a part of this lovely cohort of people who helped me become a better public speaker. Find out how.

Published Jan 21, 2024
Hi folks!
The New Year is just around the corner and that means that the applications for the AWS Community Builder Program are soon going to open up!
As a Community Builder this year, I'd like to take you through some of my best experiences - becoming a part of the AWS New Voices Cohort.

About AWS New Voices

The New Voices Program is a very new, building idea of gathering potential speakers from the pool of AWS Community Builders and honing their speaking skills under the guidance of experienced speakers from the community who chip in as coaches.

The Overall Setup

Set up in July 2023, we had a total of 4 sessions (once in a week) in which we had to prepare a small talk of 3-4 minutes where we described how we solved a problem using technology (not necessarily related to AWS)
An image of one of the sessions during which I was speaking
Every new session, a different twist was added to the same topic of discussion to bring in the quality of range to our speaking skills.
Barring the last session, there were no slides. It was all about talking to your audience for a certain period of time, describing how you solved a problem
At the end of the talk, the host along with the Coaches give you actionable feedback that you can work on before you join the next session.

The Power of Acknowledgement

A picture of me speaking on stage.
As someone who comes with a history of sheer social anxiety and nervousness on the stage, to be able to stand in front of a crowd and speak today is a blessing.
But it's also still very scary. And definitely not easy for everyone. What helps is the acknowledgement of people listening to you, people telling you that you did a good job and they liked your talk.
This is exactly what I got from this program. At the end of the talk, the host appreciates your effort, talks about the stand-out points in your talk. All the speakers appreciate your work and mention the key highlights where you did well. Everybody jazz hands at you (refer to the cover image) acknowledging the solid work that you did.

I'm not sure about the future of the program, how it's going to be structured in 2024, but I'm exited and super happy to be an AWS New Voices Graduate. Looking forward to more Community Builders joining in Q1 becoming a part of this program as well :)
Thanks for reading, Happy Holidays!