Are Labour's leading women better speakers than Labour's leading men?

I know that some of my Twitter friends, like @MarionChapsal of Geronimo Coaching, have an interest in collecting examples of powerful women speakers and leaders.

Having kept an eye out on both male and female speakers at this week's Labour Party conference, I thought that they and other readers might like to see three good efforts from women who spoke there.

For what it's worth, my general impression is that some of the party's leading women are way ahead of their male brethren when it comes to effective public speaking.

Is this, I wonder, because oratory is a dying art among males in a party that has seen former trades unionists, trained at the factory gates, give way to a new class of of Oxbridge educated young men trained as backroom boys for older MPs (and with little or no experience of having done anything much outside professional politics)?

Or is it simply that, even in a party so lacking in charismatic male speakers, women still have to be far better than average to get noticed and rise within the party?

YVETTE COOPER, Shadow Home Secretary:

CAROLINE FLINT, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:

HARRIET HARMAN, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party:

On reflection, and at the risk of offending Msses (if that's the plural of 'Ms') Cooper, Flint and Harman, it occurs to me that they arguably all have something in common with Margaret Thatcher when it comes to solving the problem of becoming a 'charismatic woman' (see HERE). That particular post concluded as follows:

'... one of Mrs Thatcher's major long term achievements may turn out to have been the undermining of age-old assumptions of the sort contained in Quintillian's observation that the perfect orator cannot exist ‘unless as a good man'. And, by finding a workable solution to the problem of being damned for being like a man and damned for not being like a man, her combination of uncompromising femininity with equally uncompromising words and deeds may have laid the foundations for a new tradition within which women politicians of the future will be able to operate' (derived from Our Masters' Voices, 1984, pp.111-121).

Conference season 2011 blogging update:


Marion Chapsal said...
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Janice Tomich said...
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