No Country for Young (and Old) Women’s Voices

Uptalk, valley-girl voice, vocal-fry, nagging, girly, immature, whiny, too high-pitched, too low-pitched, too varied, too masculine,… too feminine?
How exactly are women, especially women in professional roles, supposed to speak?

I would like to continue here on this blog a conversation started last year after our second Presentation Zen Studio in Paris, with Garr Reynolds and Ideas on Stage‘s tribe. Our question was:

Why so few women on stage?

I was so touched, honored and excited to be asked by Garr to lead the discussion last sunday in Paris, for our third Presentation Zen Studio, and to facilitate a 2 hours session on “Why so few women on stage?”

MC To be or not to be present?

Believe me, that was not a piece of cake, although the studio taking place at “La Grande Cuisine” d’ Un Dimanche à Paris provided delicious opportunities to savor mouth-watering chocolat chaud, financiers and madeleines.

Why?

  • Because on the subject of gender, public-speaking and power, both men and women are walking a tight-rope when they want to discuss and share points of view.
  • Because I am myself totally biased and passionate, even obsessed by the topic, for plenty of personal reasons I have already talked about at length.
  • Because there is also a sort of “gender fatigue” when we start to speak about women’s voices being silenced.
  • Because we are all part of the problem ( bathed into our own bias and unaware of them).
  • Because it’s a highly emotional subject, where blame and shame are involved, even at an unconscious level, for both men and women.

My purpose here is to start a series of short posts about all the attention in the media  concerning the many perceived flaws with female voices and how it makes it almost impossible for any woman to open her mouth without being criticized.

One thing I know for sure, is that on Sunday morning, I was given the floor, and I bravely took the opportunity to speak up and own my voice, even if inside it was shaking. I wanted to thank Garr Reynolds for this and also Phil Waknell and Pierre Morsa for promoting Women on Stage within Ideas on Stage.

Together, we shall change the world, one man, one woman, one presentation at a time!

If you want to join our new workshop designed for a small group of dedicated women, eager to find and own their unique voice, go to Women on Stage 

The next one, in English, will take place Thursday November 26th, from 9 am to 5 pm, on Thanksgiving Day, in Paris.

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