Women Public Speakers in Afghanistan

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While working in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2007, I developed a slide presentation to accompany a workshop to help local women become better public speakers. This had to be a culturally-sensitive presentation, creating ties to the presentation to Islamic tradition for women. This presentation includes many examples of respected Islamic women who have been teachers and public speakers. The notes section provides guidelines on how to conduct this workshop.

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Women Public Speakers in Afghanistan

  1. 1. Public Speaking Tips for Women June 2007 National Area-Based Development Programme / UNDP Kabul, Afghanistan
  2. 2. Women in Public Speaking <ul><li>When you  can speak confidently in public: </li></ul><ul><li>You have influence in your subject </li></ul><ul><li>You have detail information about the related subject </li></ul><ul><li>People want to come and talk to you </li></ul>
  3. 3. Question: Nervous? <ul><li>How many of you are nervous before you speak before a group? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes you nervous? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Nervousness is Good! <ul><li>It’s a natural, normal feeling </li></ul><ul><li>It gives you energy </li></ul><ul><li>It shows to the audience that you care about doing a good job </li></ul><ul><li>It helps the audience better relate to you </li></ul>
  5. 5. Question: Women Speakers? <ul><li>Do women in Afghanistan have a harder time speaking in public than men? </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Women Speakers, Teachers & Leaders Have Always Been Important in Muslim Society, including in Afghanistan </li></ul>
  7. 7. Examples <ul><li>Khadija, first wife of the Prophet </li></ul><ul><li>Aisha, the favored wife of Muhammad </li></ul><ul><li>Muhammad's daughters </li></ul><ul><li>Rabia Balkhi, poet of Afghanistan </li></ul><ul><li>Walladah bint Mustakfi, poet </li></ul><ul><li>Razia, a Muslim woman ruler of 13th-century India </li></ul><ul><li>Amina, a 16th-century queen of Zaria (in Africa)‏ </li></ul>
  8. 8. More examples <ul><li>Shajarat al-Durr in Mamluk Egypt </li></ul><ul><li>The so-called &quot;sultanate of women&quot; in the Ottoman Empire during the 17th century </li></ul><ul><li>Malalai of Afghanistan. </li></ul><ul><li>Zarghuna, Afghan poet of the 19th century </li></ul><ul><li>Aisha Durrani opened first girl’s school in Afghanistan </li></ul><ul><li>Queen Rania Al-Abdullah </li></ul><ul><li>Zahra Rahnavard of Iran </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Audience Likes You! <ul><li>The audience wants you to succeed </li></ul><ul><li>The audience is there to listen to YOU </li></ul><ul><li>They will pay attention if you give them what they are there to here! (know your audience!)‏ </li></ul>
  10. 10. Speaking without speaking <ul><li>Does how you stand make a difference? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Body Language <ul><li>Always face the audience (never your PowerPoint presentation or flip chart). </li></ul><ul><li>Keep your head up </li></ul><ul><li>Look at the audience; at least look at the tops of people’s heads, if you do not wish to look into people’s eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t fold your arms </li></ul><ul><li>Laugh but not so much </li></ul>
  12. 12. Breathe! <ul><li>Take deep (but not too deep) breaths before you begin to speak, and throughout your presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Breathing calms you and gives you focus. </li></ul><ul><li>It gives your presentation a pause, which many presentations need. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Tongue Twisters <ul><li>Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick? </li></ul><ul><li>Tongue twisters in Dari? Other languages? </li></ul><ul><li>Say these before you speak, and your speech will flow much more! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Project! <ul><li>Talk to the person in the back of the room. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak clearly. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak loudly </li></ul>
  15. 15. Speech Exercise <ul><li>For three – five people to try out: </li></ul><ul><li>Come to the front of the room and say your name, where you are from, and the name of your father. </li></ul><ul><li>Have the group offer advice on how the short speech could be improved </li></ul><ul><li>Have the person repeat the “presentation,” based on the group’s feedback </li></ul>
  16. 16. Be prepared <ul><li>What you do </li></ul><ul><li>before your presentation </li></ul><ul><li>is as important as </li></ul><ul><li>what you do </li></ul><ul><li>during your presentation. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Serve Your Audience <ul><li>Know what they are there to hear. </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare a shorter presentation than asked for. If you are asked to prepare an hour presentation, make it 45 minutes. If you are asked to prepare a 15 minute presentation, make it 10. </li></ul><ul><li>Know what one message you want to deliver, more than any other. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Before your presentation <ul><li>Practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Know your material so well that you don’t need your powerpoint presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Arrive in the room early; know where you will speak and where the audience will be. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Message received? <ul><li>How do you know? Ask! </li></ul><ul><li>If the group looks confused midway through your presentation, ask if there are questions </li></ul><ul><li>After your presentation, ask if anyone has questions </li></ul>
  20. 20. Experience Helps! <ul><li>The more you speak in public, the better you will become. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Questions?

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