We all know people who are daunted by standing up and speaking in front of others. Upfront is a response to this, allowing people to share the stage with speakers and experience what it feels like without the pressure of having to perform. During our next Milk Bar event on Friday 11 November, we’ll be supporting upfront when one of our speaker’s, Alasdair McGill, will share his stage.
What does it take to be #upfront?
#upfront is a project which encourages conferences and speakers to share their stage with pre-selected audience members but without forcing them to talk to a large group. 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 it lets them make a huge difference to the people that get to experience what it feels like to be on stage.
Since February, #upfront has partnered with over 15 conferences and seen 100 people from diverse backgrounds appear on stage with Lauren and a number of speakers in Scotland and beyond. The majority of the guests have relished the opportunity to be on stage without the pressure of speaking on stage, but for some the overall experience has been massively positive, with some describing it as life-changing.
How did it start?
The idea comes from Scottish designer and entrepreneur, Lauren Currie. As an experienced speaker and educator, she was motivated by her frustration at the lack of inclusion she saw during appearances on a variety of panels and conferences around the world. One of Lauren’s future goals is to ”make #upfront the norm of how conferences are curated and attended.”
Last time Lauren was #upfront at TedX Birmingham she shared her stage with five other people, with ages ranging from 20 to 55 years old, who all have their own ambitions to one day speak in public about their ideas. Now they have been #upfront they have more confidence in themselves and their story.
This is Milk among participants
Our team members are among #upfront-ers! Angela has been #upfront with Mairi Damer, at the Women Making Scotland conference in June 2016. She says ’#upfront shares the sentiment that we are building a new platform together and I think it's a useful vehicle to imagine what this 'stageless' future might look like.”
As a result of that experience, at our last Milk Bar events, we made the first step to transform the ’traditional stage' into a nice and casual platform, but we did get feedback that people would like different formats. So this time round we are having interactive workshops too.
Want to go #upfront with us?
Come to the Milk Bar to experience #upfront first-hand when Alasdair McGill delivers his session. Or even better, if you’d like to join him during his talk you can! You’ll sit comfortably on a couch, in front of a sea of friendly faces whilst he talks. You will not need to speak and Alasdair will be there to facilitate. Oh, and you'll meet him beforehand too.
All you need to do to claim your space on the #upfront couch is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line The Milk Bar.
Keep an eye out for our next Milk Bar and other events!
(Blog first published 26/10/2016)
Managing Consutant, This is Milk