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Does the Y Chromosome Inspire Confidence?

Does the Y Chromosome Inspire Confidence?

    Most bestselling nonfiction authors are men. The most successful online personalities are men. The people who have made it the biggest in the motivational speaking field? Yup, men again.

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    This is not to say that there aren’t lots of accomplished women in these areas. There are. But there are more men. With regard to speaking, I’ve even had people say to me that I will do well with the bureaus just because I’m missing that certain Y chromosome. I’m female, so apparently that makes me a novelty.

    I’ve been thinking about why this is the case, and my preliminary conclusion is that it has to do with natural confidence and the perception others have of you as a result of that confidence. Doing well in my fields of authoring and speaking requires a certain amount of ego. You have to be willing to put yourself — and your provocative ideas — out there without caring what other people think.

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    When I do a talk, I always poll my audience to see what they think so that I can improve my speech for the next group. There aren’t a lot of top male speakers who do this. They know they’re awesome, and if you don’t like them, they assume that you’re in the minority. It’s a similar deal with authors. I can’t imagine ever hearing a female first-time author say that she intended to have a bestseller right out of the gate. Yet I can name several male first time authors who have said this. And you know what? One of them was actually right.

    We women spend a lot of time being modest. Sometimes we actually feel that way, and sometimes we don’t but think that’s how we’re supposed to act so that other people will like us. At times, though, I believe it has the reverse effect. Other people don’t view us as talented or as worthy because we don’t appear to view ourselves that way.

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    As for the corporate world, there is a ton of research out there that says that men receive higher salaries than women for doing the same job. Even in fields where women dominate the bottom ranks, it’s still unusual to see a woman as CEO of a large organization. It’s easy to say that women are just being discriminated against, but could it be that there’s more to it? Maybe it’s our own fault, and we can actually control what’s happening.

    For my part, I’m going to work on being proud of my accomplishments and feeling that I deserve to be in esteemed company. Maybe if I feel more confident inside, that self-assurance will flow outward and infect the people around me. Ladies, what are you going to do, and men, how can you help us master your secrets to success?

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    Image: Bill Liao

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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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