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InfoSec Mentors: #BSidesLV Needs You

One of the coolest things about Security B-Sides, in my opinion, is the effort that goes into giving industry newbies a hand up. The BSides Las Vegas Proving Ground Speaker Development Program is a powerful example of that. And the organizers need your help.

They are asking the InfoSec Community to step up and get more involved by mentoring a new speaker. What follows is the official call to action. Please read and heed.

BSides Las Vegas Proving Ground Speaker Development Program: Call For Mentors

We at BSidesLV are again asking the InfoSec community to step-up and get more involved. One of the ways you can do this, is by mentoring a new speaker. 

Our "Proving Ground" tracks' main acceptance criteria is being a first time national conference speaker and as we all know how hard it can be to find your voice, or even to just translate data into talking points that won't lose your audience, we are looking to pair each of the Proving Ground candidates up with a mid to high profile mentor, with a solid track record of conference speaking, who will work with them from CFP to podium.

The process works like this: When the Proving Ground CFP goes out, potential speakers will be asked for an abstract for a 20 minute talk that they would like help preparing for presentation. Once they have made it past our CFP review team, they will be passed on to the Mentor List, where the potential mentors will be able to choose who they want to work with, based on area(s) of expertise and experience. 

The mentor will then work with their Proving Ground candidate, answering questions and otherwise collaborating by email as needed. Once the candidate's presentation outline is ready, the Mentor will coach them through their full presentation, working on timing, inflection and body language. The mentor will assist with translating data into talking points and assuring their talk will be understood. Not just by their peers in their area of interest, but by the majority of the people listening in the audience. 

The day of the presentation, the mentor will attend their candidate's talk, to boost morale and assist with Q&A, if needed.

Each accepted mentor and candidate will be provided with:

● All speaker amenities at BSidesLV
● Breakfast and lunch, both days
● A BSidesLV Mentorship Program t-shirt
● A badge that will identify them as a part of the Proving Ground program
● An extra conference badge for a friend

We have also implemented "Sponsor a Proving Grounds Candidate", to help offset travel and lodging and assure that our first time speakers are able to afford to attend BSidesLV. If you need financial assistance in order to be able to attend BSidesLV and are applying to speak in "Proving Ground", make sure to indicate that, where requested, in the CFP form.

If you feel the mentorship program is something you would be interested in contributing to, you have the time and patience to commit to it, and you know you will be in Las Vegas for "Security Summer Camp" this August, please email provingground.bsideslv@gmail.com with "BSidesLV 2014 Mentors ROCK!" as the subject line.


● A brief introduction of who you are
● Where you have spoken / what you have presented on
● What your area(s) of expertise are
● Why you are interested in participating in the program as a mentor

Acceptance into the program is contingent upon your being available to attend BSidesLV during your candidate's talk, so please do not apply if you might have scheduled conflicts during Black Hat.

We hope that by providing this service, we will have the chance to "Pay it forward" to the new generation of Information Security researchers. Let us give them a chance to find their public speaking voice in a welcoming, encouraging environment.

We thank you for your interest in the BSidesLV Mentorship Program, The BSidesLV Mentorship Program Directors:

Magen @tottenkoph Hughes 

Michael @securitymoey Ortega

The BSidesLV Board of Directors:

GK @banasidhe Southwick

Jack @jack_daniel Daniel

Alex @alexhutton Hutton 

Meredith L. @maradydd Patterson 

James @jmcmurry McMurry

Security BSides Las Vegas, Inc. 2014