There is nothing I like better than an all female public speaking audience. All female audiences tend to laugh more easily and louder than all male audiences. All-male audiences are the toughest because the male ego gets in the way of laughter. They look around to see if anyone else is laughing before they laugh, and they won’t laugh as loud because they think they will look less powerful.
If you speak to an all-male audience it is more critical to bond and be “one of the guys” especially if you are a female speaker. I’m not being sexist here. I don’t believe in sexist language. I’m just giving you the thoughts to keep in mind if you are a female speaker and you want to be successful speaking in front of a general all-male audience. You must realize: not all males out there in the business world are as sensitive as me (send all big hugs to me in care of my publisher). If your all-male audience consists of a general public audience not from the same company or field, stick to sports, business, and money to best connect with them.
One of the hardest audiences to deal with consists of a group of executives from the same company when the CEO is present. If you say something funny, the executives will start to laugh, but they choke it off until they check to see if the CEO is laughing. If he or she is laughing, then they go ahead and laugh. This kind of audience will create timing nightmares for you. If you are the CEO and you are in the audience for a presentation, it is your obligation to laugh and at least act like you’re having a good time to “give permission” to everyone else to laugh. As a good public speaker, you can sometimes take it upon yourself to gently explain to the CEO how everyone will look to him or her for approval.
Audiences that consist of more than 50 percent women are good too because the presence of the females provides a good buffer and makes it OK for the men to laugh, since so many other people are laughing.
Learn to make a home run presentation everytime!