While it is definitely easier to speak to female audiences, you can have as much success with male audiences if you understand the differences between the two. In addition, knowing the makeup of the particular male audience you are addressing will be to your advantage.
If the group to whom you are speaking is composed of individuals from the same company, you may find it more challenging to get a laugh because men are often more reserved in front of their boss or their CEO. They are likely to follow that person’s lead; thus, if the CEO isn’t laughing, then those under him may not feel free to express their emotions. Armed with this knowledge, it would be a good idea to speak to the CEO or the person leading the group in advance, explaining the situation so that he recognizes the disadvantage you may have as the speaker. (It is certainly to the company’s success and goodwill to make you, the speaker, look good since they are probably paying to have you speak.)
While sports, business and money are always safe bets with a male audience, getting too personal may not be the smartest move to make in speaking to men. For some, admitting that they can empathize or even sympathize with an emotional message may be near to impossible. So it is best to leave your feelings out of the picture – and it doesn’t matter whether you are a male or female speaker in this case.
Speaking to men’s clubs or organizations is certainly easier than addressing those who work together in a particular firm or business but you still need to tailor your message around the needs of those who belong to that specific group of people. Covering a topic such as motivation for the local Lions club may not be as effective as discussing the success you had in raising money for a children’s hospital, for example.
As is true with all audiences, grabbing the attention of your listeners with your opening remarks is imperative. Whether you begin with a question, a joke or an anecdote, captivating them right from the start will not only bolster your confidence but also make it that much easier to keep their focus on you.
Do not get the impression that male audiences are not interested in hearing you speak. They are – as long as your topic is appropriate, your delivery is strong, and you know how to handle them.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. To see how voice training can improve your life, both professionally and personally, visit Voice Dynamic or watch a brief video as The Voice Lady describes Dynamic Public Speaking.