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Recognize bias in speech, its effect on speech and how to avoid it

Study guide

One of the most important things to look out for when speaking is bias. It does not matter if you are gender biased or ethnic or cultural, you should not be biased in the position of a credible speaker. To avoid prejudice, you must first be able to recognize it.

Gender bias

Gender bias arises because of the social structure as well as the language of gender. You need to recognize this prejudice and avoid it in your speech.

Gender recognition

Before we begin the discussion of gender bias, we must first understand the concept of gender. Gender does not necessarily represent the sexual organs with which we were born. When we talk about the biological classification of “male” and “female”, we are actually referring to sex, not gender.

Gender means the social structure of each person’s gender. Gender refers to the existing social definition and cultural expectations of what is called “man” and “woman.” In addition, some people of the opposite sex may be identified Transgender they say.

In fact, gender is not what you are born with; It is something you learn and understand through your social interactions and experiences.

Definition of gender relations

Gender is essentially understood, defined and taught through language and communication. Gendered communication is also more cultural; That is, what counts as feminine or masculine may not count as feminine or masculine in other cultures and societies. How people express their gender usually depends on the cultural structures of the community in which they live or are ascribed. In addition, people’s expectations about the expression of some gender maps by others also depend on the cultural structures of society.

Recognize and avoid gender bias in speech

In addition to being aware of your own cultural biases and those of your audience, you need to be aware of how gender bias affects your speech. For example, when a woman comes to speak in front of a group of men, she is treated differently from male speakers. In some cultural contexts, men have a derogatory view of female speakers. In many cases, female speakers have to use masculine manners, language, and postures in order for the audience to accept them as speakers.

Of course, the opposite is not always the case. Although women usually feel more comfortable in the presence of a female speaker, they usually pay more attention to male speakers. Because in many cultures, women have been taught to pay more attention to men (or even to be obedient to men).

By recognizing the gender biases you bring to the lecture session, as well as the gender biases that your audience may have about you, you can take an important step in eliminating or at least managing the gender bias in your speech.

Cultural bias

We all have cultural prejudices (willingly or unwillingly). Try to find and confront the cultural prejudices in your speech.

Understanding intercultural communication

In order for speech to be effective, we must recognize, accept, and put aside cultural prejudices.

Author, David Jay. Smith puts the world’s 7 billion people as a population of 100, and this 100 people are divided into regions and languages:

  • There are 61 people from Asia;
  • There are 13 people from Africa;
  • There are 12 people from Europe;
  • 8 are from South and Central America;
  • There are 5 people from the United States and Canada;
  • 1 person from Oceania;
  • 22 people speak one of the Chinese dialects (18 people speak Mandarin);
  • 9 people speak English;
  • 8 people speak Hindi;
  • 7 people speak Spanish;
  • 4 people speak Arabic;
  • 4 people speak Bengali;
  • 3 people speak Portuguese;
  • 3 people speak Russian.

Smith’s “World Village,” simplified as shown above, represents a wide range of diversity among the people of our planet. How we interact with and rely on each other in spite of our diverse backgrounds is a very important issue in intercultural communication.

Our unique cultural backgrounds can serve as a basis for testing and proving the similarities and similarities between us. But unfortunately, cultural backgrounds often remind us of most of our differences, and prejudices act as barriers to our communication.

Definition of bias

Prejudice is a situation we are all in; That is, the biased state of our tendencies, interests, and prejudices. Due to the different human experiences of different people, each of us holds prejudice in a different way; Because each of our characteristics is slightly different from the others.

Definition of cultural prejudice

Definition of cultural prejudice

Cultural prejudice arises when you look at the experiences of others from within your own personal understanding of cultural experiences. Naturally, your cultural experience causes you to be prejudiced against cultural experiences that are different from your own personal experiences. Remember that prejudice does not necessarily mean denial and rejection, and sometimes it means preferring one culture to another. Cultural prejudice can take the form of dependence on one culture or cultural experience, or a complete withdrawal from one cultural experience and turning to another cultural experience.

How cultural bias affects your speech

In public speaking, there are two forms of cultural bias. One is the bias you bring to the lecture session. Another is the prejudice that exists in the minds of your audience; That is, the cultural bias that your audience brings to the podium. Both forms of cultural bias can affect your speech.

The mismatch between these two forms of bias can affect your audience’s acceptance of you as a speaker (both in terms of your credibility and your credibility as a speaker). In addition, your cultural bias sometimes affects your behaviors and speech patterns when giving a speech.

From the point of view of eloquence and rhetoric, sometimes your cultural prejudice affects the power and comprehensiveness of your arguments. If cultural prejudice causes you to look at things solely on the basis of a particular cultural context, some parts of your argument may not be fully developed; Simply because you do not even have the cultural background to understand that part of the discussion is not fully developed.

To overcome cultural bias, you need to take a step back and before speaking, identify and eliminate the cultural bias in your speech and think about the following questions:

  • What cultural background does your audience come to the lecture session from?
  • What is the race, ethnicity, nationality and heritage of your audience?
  • What language barriers are there?
  • From what cultural background do you enter the stage of lecturing?
  • What cultural prejudices do your audience have about you?
  • What cultural context do you use for your argument and the evidence you use to prove it?


Speech bias damages your credibility and influence on the audience. Recognize your prejudices and put them aside. You need to be more careful, especially in public speaking, in order to influence the audience or persuade others.


Recognize bias in speech, its effect on speech and how to avoid it

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