As the Woman's Soccer Coach at the University of North Carolina, Anson Dorrance's teams have won 22 National Championships. Coach Dorrance coached the Women's Soccer team at UNC for 33 years and the men's team for 13 years. In his fantastic book, Training Soccer Champions, with Tim Nash, Coach Dorrance gave an example of the way different audiences respond differently to the same content.
"You don't need to show a videotape to a women's team to critique them. If you are in front of a group of men giving them general criticisms of a game, a videotape is crucial. If you are saying there was not enough defensive pressure in the game, every male in the room is think¬ing, "Yeah I was the only one working out there. The rest of you were useless." In his mind, he immediately blames everyone else for the lack of defensive pressure.
If you made that general criticism to a women's team, and said, "This is garbage. Our defensive pressure was terrible." Every woman in the room would think, "He's talking about me."
I find it interesting that a male will look at the video and see everyone making mistakes, including himself, and start to blame everyone else for his inability. But a woman will see herself and take full responsibility for that problem emotionally. With women, a video is more effectively used to show that they can play well and to show the positive aspects of the performance.
Not that you can never show negative aspects of a performance to a women's team, but seeing their mistake on tape does not really help them. If you tell them they made a mistake, they'll believe you.
I do not want to pretend that men do not respond to positive things, but you must have a balance of showing the positive and the neg¬ative. Coaches tend to only stop practice during an entirely negative environment to point out and correct mistakes. Yet one of the best times to stop a training session is during or right after a brilliant series of performances to confirm exactly what you want."
Who's in your audience?