Do you speak like a girl or like a boy? It turns out that how you speak may have very little to do with the gender selection that you received at birth. Way back in the past, people tended to think that everyone pretty much spoke the same way. Over time people started to understand that there were speaking differences between the way that men and women expressed the importance of public speaking. Many people felt that women’s communications patterns can affirm their subordinate role in society while men have more of a take charge speaking style. Are we bound to one way of speaking based on our gender?
It’s All About Words
It turns out that we really are not tied to speaking using the mannerisms of one gender or the other. Instead we need to realize that we need to use men’s typical speech patterns in certain speaking situations and we need to use women’s typical speech patterns in other situations. What we need to do is to learn how to use the best of both styles of speaking in order to become successful communicators.
One of the first questions that we need to deal with when taking a look at how men and women communicate is to find out who talks more. It may come as no surprise that in public settings, researchers have discovered that men tend to talk more. Women will talk more in social settings. Given an opportunity, men will dominate the conversation in public settings. This understanding provides a door of opportunity for speakers. Women who are willing to speak up during a speech will attract attention because generally it is only men who are on the stage. Likewise, a man who does not take over the stage in order to communicate his point will also attract attention.
The words that we use in our speeches can be based on our gender. I don’t think that you’ll be surprised to learn that when speaking, women tend to do a better job of correctly pronouncing words and using correct grammar. Men, on the other hand. have been determined to make more use of local dialect terms. This can help them to better connect with their audience. However, women do a better job of being polite when they talk. This means that they say things like “please” and “thank you”. Using these kinds of words can help them to better connect with audiences who are older or in more formal speaking situations.
It’s How You Say It
I’m pretty sure that most of us have heard the acronym TMI – “Too Much Information”. Women are often accused of sharing too much information during a conversation while men are often accused of not sharing enough. As speakers what we want to do during a speech is to connect with our audience. In order to do that we are going to have to open up and share some personal information with them in order to allow us to appear “human” to them. However, we need to be very careful when we do this. Especially in a business setting, it’s entirely possible to share too much. However, you do need to share something or you won’t be able to create that bond with your audience.
Finally, one key aspect of how we speak can determine the impact that we’ll have on our audience. This is the tone that we use during our speech. Women generally use more of what is called a questioning tone where they tend to end their sentences on a higher note as though they were asking a question – even if they are not. Men generally talk in a more direct manner. As speakers, when we want to get our audience more involved in what we are talking about, using a questioning tone can be a great way to cause them to start to create answers to questions that we are asking.
What All Of This Means For You
Men and women do generally speak differently. If we are not careful, we’ll fall into the speaking roles that are associated with our given gender and end up minimizing the benefits of public speaking. What we need to do as speakers is to realized that both sexes bring advantages to speaking via their natural styles and we should strive to combine both of these sets of styles into our next speech.
A big part of any speech is just exactly how much talking we are going to do. Men traditionally do more talking than women. This means that women can talk more and men can talk less during a speech in order to capture an audience’s attention. How we talk is another difference between the genders. Women do a better job of pronouncing words correctly and using correct grammar. Men do a better job of incorporating local accents. Connecting with our audience is an important part of every speech. Women have to be careful that they don’t end up sharing too much information. At the same time, men need to make sure that they do share some information in order to build a bond with their audience. The tone that we use during our speech can have a lot to do with our gender. Women tend to use more of a questioning tone and men use more of a direct tone.
Understanding that men and women talk differently is a critical part of how we can all become better speakers. What we need to understand is how the different genders talk so that we can use the best skills from the other gender and incorporate them into our next speech. Take the time to study what gender you use to speak in and then try to add more components from the other gender. Your audience will be both surprised and delighted.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you think that using a questioning tone during a speech can be over used?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As speakers, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can do a better job the next time that we deliver a speech. We worry about how our voice sounds, what we’re doing with our hands, and if the people in the back of the room can hear us. However, this all gets changed when we find ourselves in a position where we’re not going to be presenting a speech, but we will be writing it. Just exactly how you do go about writing a speech for someone else who might be more important than you are?