Women Speak, Everyone Listens

Women SpeakHearing women speak in public is certainly not unusual. Getting people to listen and credit them for their ideas takes some effort, even for such venerable leaders as Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

There has been a fair amount of discussion online surrounding the upcoming TEDWomen conference in Washington, DC on December 7-8th, with some raising questions on whether a woman’s conference is necessary or even counter productive. To read some interesting points and an historical perspective on this subject check out the blog post at The Eloquent Woman, where Denise Graveline, the president of a communications consultancy called Don’t Get Caught (as in, unprepared and speechless) pleads with her audience to eliminate the “four ancient and durable myths about women and public speaking.”

In my conversations with the speakers and attendees at EWIP’s Women’s Leadership Conferences, it is clear that hearing women speak at events, especially in venues where the speaker is not the only woman, is an exhilarating and inspiring experience. It is also too infrequent as any casual review of this year’s publishing and technology conferences reveals–there are too few women on the rosters!

Next time you hear someone (or yourself) say, there aren’t enough qualified women to be speakers, call out this myth for what it is: false. If we are to reshape the future, the theme of the TEDWomen conference, making it easier for women and girls to speak up, to be heard with respect, remembered and credited for their ideas, requires most of us to eliminate the “ancient and durable” myths about women and public speaking.

TEDWomen will celebrate women and girls around the world at the global event in Washington, but you can also get into the action by connecting with self-organized TEDx for TEDWomen events. Find out if one of these simulcast events is taking place in your town (or host one yourself) and feel inspired by women and their ideas worth sharing.

One Response to Women Speak, Everyone Listens

  • Thanks for the shout-out, women of EWIP! Over on The Eloquent Woman blog, I’d love to hear your reports of progress–at your conference and others–and I appreciate your efforts to keep this issue on the table.

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