Deconstructing My TEDx Talk: Why We’re Uncomfortable with Women in Power – Podcast Ep. 092

Deconstructing My TEDx Talk: Why We’re Uncomfortable with Women in Power - Podcast Ep. 092

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Two years ago, right before the November 2016 U.S. presidential election, I gave a talk at a small, local TEDxWomen chapter.

Until now, I’ve never shared it publicly (beyond the audience that was there).

Why? There are several reasons, which you’ll hear about in this episode.

It was the most challenging speaking experience I’ve ever had. Not because of the format or the short length (8 minutes), but because of the topic I chose to talk about and the pressure I put on myself.

The talk was called “It’s About Time We Really Talk About Women and Power” (the theme of the event was “It’s About Time”).

As a society, why are we so ambivalent and uncomfortable about women in power? My TEDx talk examined our deep-rooted fears about women striving for powerful positions, our myths through the ages about powerful women, and how this came to a head in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In this episode:

  • You’ll hear me give the talk (as I originally wrote it – I was tempted to update it with what’s gone on during the past 2 years, but decided to keep it as is)
  • You’ll learn how I wrote the talk as I deconstruct the structure, pacing, specific elements, and the opening and closing
  • You’ll hear why it was the most challenging talk I’ve given, what I learned, and how you can apply these lessons to your own speaking journey


I’d love to hear your thoughts: Have you had a challenging speaking experience? What is your biggest fear? How have you overcome it? Email me at


The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals create their signature talks and gain more visibility to achieve their goals. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power: on stages, in businesses, on boards, in the media, in politics, and in our communities. Check out our coaching programs and workshops at



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Related Podcast Episodes:

  • Episode 3: How I Created My Podfest Presentation [Training]
  • Episode 24: What It Takes to Do a TEDx Talk with Tammy Lally
  • Episode 40: Why Women Need to Speak Up and Roar with Sophia Eng
  • Episode 56: How to Become a TEDx Speaker with Tamsen Webster
  • Episode 91: Visibility Works: From Local Speaking to to a Book with Tammy Lally

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  1. Deb Gonzales on October 30, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I admire your candor, Carol. And, yes, I have had a similar, horrible experience while public speaking.

    I’m proud of your transparency, humility, and thoughtfulness.

    Way to go!

    • Carol Cox on October 30, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Thank you so much, Debbie. It wasn’t easy for me to share, but I hope it helps others to know that it does happen and life goes on! 🙂

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