BSidesLV News

Proving Ground Call for Mentors

Proving Ground Speaker Development Program Call For Mentors is FULL – Thank you to all that applied!

Proving Ground Call For Presenters is FULL – More info here

Roles & Responsibilities

Conflict Resolution

It’s that time again! Time for the InfoSec community to mentor 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 Proving Ground candidate up with a mentor.

The process:

  • Acknowledge both “Roles & Responsibilities” and “Conflict Resolution” policies, linked above.
  • Call for Mentors (CFM) – we ask for persons that could be potential mentors to sign up.  Mentors are persons who have a record of speaking at industry conferences (e.g. DEF CON, RSA, ShmooCon, Black Hat, DerbyCon, HITB, Infiltrate, BruCon, 44Con, SyScan, ISTS, ShakaCon  etc.) and would like to spend time working with a new speaker to deliver content to the podium.
  • Mentor Validation – Proving Ground directors validate the mentor applicants based on provided information and additional information as available.  
    • Mentors will be notified of acceptance via email.
  • Proving Ground CFP – Speaker candidates will submit an abstract for a 20 minute talk that they would like help preparing for presentation.
    • The PG directors will perform due diligence to verify that the candidates have not previously spoken at an industry conference
    • The talk is reviewed and will be accepted or rejected by the PG CFP committee
  • Mentor/Speaker Matching – Accepted candidates will be passed on to the Mentor List, where the accepted mentors will be able to choose which talks they want to help with, based on area(s) of expertise and experience.
    • Mentor / Speaker teams will be introduced to one another by the PG directors, via email
  • Talk preparation – The mentor will work with their Proving Ground candidate, answering questions and otherwise collaborating as needed.
    • The mentor will assist with translating data into talking points and assuring their candidate’s talk will be understood by the audience
    • Once the candidate’s slide deck is ready, the Mentor will coach them through their full presentation, working on
      • timing, inflection and body language
  • 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

Acceptance into the program is contingent upon being available to attend BSidesLV during your candidate’s talk, so please do not apply if you might have scheduling conflicts with 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, collaborative environment.


We thank you for your interest in mentoring for the BSidesLV Proving Ground Program.

The BSidesLV Proving Ground Directors:

Magen @tottenkoph Wu and Michael @securitymoey Ortega


Proving Ground Speaker Development Program Call For Mentors is FULL


Security BSides Las Vegas, Inc. 2016


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