lauren_and_the_first_upfront

#upfront is making stages around the world more diverse and accessible.

Stages and platforms are not as diverse as they could be. Some of us are scared of being on stage in front of an audience. Some of us feel comfortable talking to our own teams or smaller groups of people but don't know how to take the leap to talk to a large audience from a stage.

#upfront seeks to address this by inviting audience members to share the stage during a keynote.

Those on the stage don’t say any more than any other audience member would, therefore it won’t affect the content or the timing in any way. But what it does do is make a huge difference to the people that get to experience what it feels like to be on stage.

Rheanne McCormick , Kate Jordan and Abi Monger #upfront with Rebekah Cooper at University of The Arts London in March 2016

Rheanne McCormick , Kate Jordan and Abi Monger #upfront with Rebekah Cooper at University of The Arts London in March 2016

Sue Samsonov, Leila Willingham and Lulu Laidlaw-Smith #upfront with Lauren Currie at Silicon Beached in January 2016.

Sue Samsonov, Leila Willingham and Lulu Laidlaw-Smith #upfront with Lauren Currie at Silicon Beached in January 2016.

#upfront workshop with undergraduate design students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in March 2016 

#upfront workshop with undergraduate design students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in March 2016 

Santianna Stath, Mena Kirmani, Ummi Jameel, Marita Marshall and Derek Harper #upfront with Lauren Currie at TedX Dundee in May 2016.

Santianna Stath, Mena Kirmani, Ummi Jameel, Marita Marshall and Derek Harper #upfront with Lauren Currie at TedX Dundee in May 2016.

Angela Wilson, Louise Medve, Elizabeth Pirrie, Susan Reid, Marie Smith, Anne MacNab and Lesleyann Cain #upfront with Lauren Currie at The Associate of Women in Business Conference June  2016

Angela Wilson, Louise Medve, Elizabeth Pirrie, Susan Reid, Marie Smith, Anne MacNab and Lesleyann Cain #upfront with Lauren Currie at The Associate of Women in Business Conference June  2016

 
We are so proud, and excited for Talk UX to be an #upfront conference. We passionately believe that you need to encourage new speakers to maintain a diversity of thought on stage, and we think this is an excellent way of doing this. Lauren has done a wonderful job of making this really easy for us to do, I can’t wait to see the feedback we get on the day
— Georgie Bottomly; Co-founder of LadiesthatUX
#upfront is remarkably simple and everyone should find it easy to execute. It’s an elegant solution for helping people experience the stage without the intimidation of preparing and performing. It’s a great starting point for building diversity and reinforcing the idea that your event is inclusive and welcoming. Especially if supporting new speakers is a goal for your next event!
— Cara Hanman, Marketing and Sponserhip, Software Acumen
Days after being #upfront I had a speaking gig in front of four times as many people as I am used to and was able to generate interest in working with me too. It not only boosted my speaking confidence, but my business bottom line too.
— Mary Jane Boholst; Founder, Concious Cocoon, #upfront at Silicon Beached Feb 2016
 

These events are committed to being #upfront

We run #upfront workshops, projects and programmes with individuals, teams and organisations

Our first #upfront workshop was a blast – it did what most public speaking workshops fail to do, which is work on the worries and concerns that everyone shares when they’re thinking about getting on stage. It was honest, open, compassionately delivered and gave our students the tips that they needed to work on this in their own time. Highly recommended.
— Michael Simpson. Programme Manager at Year Here
#upfront is such a simple way to support people to put themselves out there without actually...putting themselves out there. Imagine a world where very educational institution adopted #upfront at all their events? Go do it
— Luke Whitehead; Digital Enterprise and Employability Project Manager, University of the Arts London
#upfront really added an extra dimension to All About People that fitted with the spirit of the event. I’ll be rolling #upfront out at our event next year and you should too
— Andy Swann, Founder of All About People

There are many brilliant people tackling this problem. Thank you for the work you do.