The Impact of Gender on Public Speaking | Speak New York

Public speaking is an essential skill for professionals in all fields. It can help one succeed in a variety of contexts, from presenting at work to delivering a speech at a conference. Women and men face different challenges when it comes to public speaking, and these differences can affect their success in various ways. Women face gender biases in public speaking but can overcome them by leveraging their strengths and improving their skills.

Gender biases can have a significant impact on the way people perceive public speakers

For example, a study found that both men and women rated male speakers as more confident, authoritative, and competent than female speakers, even when the content of their speeches was identical.

Women are often more likely to use apologetic language and hedge their statements, which can make them appear less confident and undermine the authority of their message. On the other hand, men may use more assertive language, which can be perceived as confident and authoritative.

In addition to these biases, there are also structural barriers that can affect the success of women in public speaking

For example, many events are organized by men, who may be more likely to invite other men to speak. This can result in fewer opportunities for women to gain visibility and experience as public speakers.

Despite these challenges, there are also ways that women can leverage their gender to become successful public speakers

For example, women may be more likely to use storytelling and personal anecdotes, which can help to connect with audiences on an emotional level. Additionally, women may be better at building relationships with audience members, which can help to establish trust and credibility.

Another strategy that women can use to overcome gender biases is to focus on developing their public speaking skills

This can include attending workshops or taking courses to improve their delivery, as well as practicing in front of supportive audiences. With practice, women can learn to project confidence and authority in their speeches, which can help to counteract biases and establish themselves as effective public speakers.


Overall, the impact of gender on public speaking is significant. Women face a range of biases and structural barriers that can affect their success as public speakers. However, there are also ways that women can leverage their gender to become more effective speakers, such as using storytelling and personal anecdotes, building relationships with audiences, and focusing on skill development. By taking these steps, women can break through gender biases and establish themselves as confident and authoritative public speakers.

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