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Becoming Your Own Queen Bee

Becoming Your Own Queen Bee

Queen bee. Ruler of the bees. The solo reproductive female in a colony of honeybees. Or, according to online encyclopedias: “A woman or girl in a social circle that dominates or is controlling in her position. The alpha female. The ‘leader of the pack.’ She ascends over her peers, influencing decisions and commanding her rule.”

This is not an uncommon tale, and it most definitely exists in many realms. I know I have had my share of queen bees in my lifetime, throughout my formative years mostly. Perhaps it is a developmental notion, a way for youths to create social structure and find order in their heady, bumbling world.

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Dominance and control happens everywhere, and the fact that there is no such name for the queen bee’s male counterpart is interesting, at the very least. The term implies bossiness, maltreatment, corruption. The queen bee idea is imposed by young adult films such as Mean Girls, where she is to be feared, lest you suffer her incomprehensible wrath. You must remain on her good side or she will tear you down. You must do what she says. You must be her minion.

Except you don’t have to.

The term “queen bee” does not have to be a threatening thing. It doesn’t have to mean a reign of terror. A woman ruling is a beautiful and powerful idea — it actually needs as much light as we can give it. Except instead of ruling others, instead of controlling a group or domineering a social structure, how about we are the queen bee, ruling only ourselves? The queen of our own life, the queen of our own parlours, our own choices, our own timeframes. We sit on our thrones not to dominate others, but to shine as leaders of our own fate. We stand tall when others sling harmful words, confident in our power. We shine when we take the podium, the stage, or even the sidewalk. We let pettiness roll off our backs and we rule with kindness and courage. We listen to all people because real queens are wise, and they know that in order for people to hear us, we too must perfect the art of truly listening.

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Real queens know that we are never truly powerful by controlling — we are powerful because we never stop learning. We are beautiful because we are real, not because we build a version of ourselves to suit anybody else. We understand that we do not need to dominate in order to be loved. We do not need to instil violence or fear in order to rule sufficiently. We are respected because we respect others, and because we respect ourselves.

Bee inspired.

For want of a less cheesy quote, I have always — since I was a girl young enough to be influenced by my peers — found this quote to be of happy help. It was spoken by Sara Crewe, the brave and adventurous little princess who loved magic and who believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that all girls are beautiful, talented, unstoppable. She knew that being a princess didn’t mean sparkly pink dresses and a prince — it meant having the heart of a warrior. And she knew that girls didn’t need to rule one another at all, because given the platform to unite instead of compete, these girls would someday grow from princesses into queens.

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“I am a princess. All girls are! Even if they live in tiny old attics, even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young, they’re still princesses — all of us!” — Sara Crewe

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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