Public Speaking through Lightning Talks (4-session Workshop)


Session #1: Monday, April 30 @ 6PM – 9PM

Session #2: Thursday, May 3 @ 6PM – 9PM

Session #3: Monday, May 7 @ 6PM – 9PM

Session #4: Thursday, May 10 @ 6PM – 9PM

Public speaking can be everything from exhilarating to frightening to any given person – but no matter where people fall in that emotional spectrum, it is almost always a gratifying and rewarding experience.

The big key to being a great speaker is in learning how to effectively communicate your message. It takes practice and patience, and there are different approaches to take depending on the type of message you need to convey.

In this workshop,

• We’ll learn the basics to giving a strong presentation
• We’ll practice our speaking skills and receive valuable feedback in a friendly and judgement-free environment
• We’ll hone our communication and teaching skills
• We’ll learn tips, tricks, and what to avoid when speaking in public

By the end of this workshop, you should feel increased confidence in your speaking abilities and will have learned the key components that make up an awesome presentation.

Each day of the workshop will include lecture time and a speaking exercise related to the topic of that class. For Classes 2-4, speech homework will be assigned building upon the skills of the day.

• Class 1: Intro to Public Speaking
• Class 2: Intro to Teaching
• Class 3: Intro to Lightning Presentations
• Class 4: Leveling Up Your Speaker Skills

Dinner and refreshments will be provided each evening courtesy of Pillar Technology!

With her education degree from Michigan State, Em Drier began her career as an English teacher. After a few years in the education field, she stumbled upon the world of SEO and began her new career in tech. She is now the Project Manager for Boxcar Studio.
Em is so excited to have her teaching background and technology experience come full circle with GDI Ann Arbor!
In her spare time, Em enjoys running with her dog Obie, expanding her coding skills, and playing board games.

WHAT TO BRING: Please bring your laptop and charger to all class sessions. Power strips & Wi-Fi will be provided.

QUESTIONS? We’re here to help! If you have additional questions or would like to talk further before signing up for a class, please contact us at [masked]

SCHOLARSHIPS: We are offering scholarships on a limited basis for students with financial need. Please complete our scholarship application ( if you are interested. Applications must be received at least 2 weeks in advance of the class dates. Scholarship recipients will be notified via email at least 1 week before the first class.

Pillar ( is a business and technology consulting company. We’re passionate about creating cutting edge technology and innovation. We develop software that solves problems and creates business value in a timely manner. Pillar uses Agile techniques to focus on quality assurance rather than quality control. We select the brightest minds in technology and business to teach companies how to quickly see real returns on their technology investment. Pillar believes that EXECUTION IS EVERYTHING.

All attendees are expected to abide by the Girl Develop It Code of Conduct (

MINIMUM ENROLLMENT: If fewer than 12 students register for this workshop, GDI Ann Arbor may postpone or cancel it. In that event a refund or class credit will be available to any students who have paid to attend.

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