- Now, don’t get me wrong. We’re talking here about feminine and masculine archetypes, rather than gender. Obviously women can be great orators, just like men, if they want to. Just look at one iconic figure of the political speaker, Margaret Thatcher. Max Atkinson has writen an excellent series of articles in his blog on Margaret Thatcher, with insightful extracts of videos. Read the The Evolution of Charismatic Woman.
- Do they want to? They may not want to give “a formal speech, especially one given on a ceremonial occasion”. They might even feel ridiculous doing that. Why? Because they may be more self-aware.It reminds me of Lucy Kellaway in one of her slightly provocative Financial Times column:
“While nearly all men are poor at public speaking, women are even worse. This is partly because women cannot tell jokes, but also because we are better at self-awareness and therefore know that our speech is average and the audience would rather be doing something else – thoughts that do little to enhance performance.”
- Wouldn’t they rather choose to speak with simplicity, proximity and elegance?Is it what we call Eloquence? In 1826, the American statesman Daniel Webster reminded his students that:
“True eloquence does not consist in speech. Words and phrases may be marshalled in every way, but they cannot compass it. It must consist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion.”
Watch Hillary Clinton, as she speaks at Women in The World Summit of one of the great unfinished businesses of human history, the full emancipation and equality of women.
She’s an eloquent woman. She also masters the Art of Oratory and her speech is perfect. She’s taking public speaking as an art, involving body, heart, mind and soul.
Read also Coco Chanel, lessons of leadership with elegance.
What differentiates an eloquent speaker with a skilled orator?
- Genuine desire to interact with the audience
- Consideration for others
- Playfulness and ability to improvise
These qualities are not innate for women. You can find them in men too. They belong to the “feminine” archetype. They come more naturally for those who have undergone centuries of invisibility and silence. They fit well for the oppressed or the minorities. Women are neither oppressed openly , nor a minority anymore. Yet, they re-inforce these traits as they grow up, and tend to erase the masculine assertiveness.
How could we make sure that we all balance the masculine and the feminine archetypes, in the way we express ourselves?
With the development of Presentation ZEN like speakers, of NOW Leaders, embracing both feminine and masculine values or archetypes, we will see more and more informal , natural, conversational yet powerful and influential speakers.
For more information on NOW Leaders, read here.
I’m welcoming your suggestions, ideas, comments. How does it resonate with your experience?