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Paula Stone Williams speaker

Paula Stone Williams

Gender Equity Advocate; Strategic Communications Expert; LGBTQ Ambassador and Transgender Minister

Paula Stone Williams is an internationally-known speaker on issues of gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy, and religious tolerance. She has been featured in TEDWomen, TEDSummit, the New York Times, Red Table Talk, TEDxMileHigh, the Washington Post, NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, ABC News, PBS, and scores of other media outlets.

As a keynote speaker, Paula has spoken for hundreds of corporations, conferences, and universities around the world. Her TED talks have had over nine million views. Paula’s memoir, As A Woman – What I Learned About Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned was published by Simon & Schuster in 2021.

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Paula Stone Williams's 2024 biography

Meet Paula Stone Williams

Dr. Paula Stone Williams is an internationally known speaker on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy and religious tolerance. As a transgender woman, Paula brings a unique perspective to her work on gender equity. She says, “The differences between living as a man and a woman are massive. There is no way an educated white male can understand how much the culture is tilted in his favor, because it is all he has ever known and all he ever will know.”

Paula, with decades of experience in strategic communications within partisan spaces, skillfully employs narrative communication—a storytelling approach that intimately connects the audience with the conveyed message, fostering enduring change. Whether a corporate meeting, women’s conference, company retreat or national gathering, Paula’s unique perspective and skilled storytelling engages everyone as she humbly and effectively advocates for gender equity, LGBTQ rights and better communication and appreciation for the differences among us.

Paula has been the CEO of a large religious non-profit, the editor-at-large of a national magazine, host of a national television show and a corporate consultant. With her doctoral thesis on the DiSC Personality Profile, Paula has led hundreds of corporate boards and work teams to become more efficient and productive. Paula has served as an adjunct university professor in the United States and Europe, and is the author of eight books, including She’s My Dad, co-authored with her son, Jonathan.

Paula’s memoir, As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned (Simon & Schuster), chronicles her transition journey and sheds light on the gendered landscape that impacts many in the LGBTQ+ community and women in the workplace and beyond. Her memoir will be turned into a limited series by Cannonball Productions.

In addition to her public speaking and corporate consulting, she is also a Pastor and Pastoral Counselor in Boulder County, Colorado. Paula has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, TEDWomen, TEDSummit, TEDxMileHigh, Red Table Talk, National Public Radio, Good Morning America, ABC Primetime News, CNN, People Magazine, and many other media outlets. She has been a keynote speaker for hundreds of conferences, corporations, and universities around the world. Her TED Talks have had over nine million views.

Meet Paula Stone Williams

Dr. Paula Stone Williams is an internationally known speaker on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy and religious tolerance. As a transgender woman, Paula brings a unique perspective to her work on gender equity. She says, “The differences between living as a man and a woman are massive. There is no way an educated white male can understand how much the culture is tilted in his favor, because it is all he has ever known and all he ever will know.”

Paula, with decades of experience in strategic communications within partisan spaces, skillfully employs narrative communication—a storytelling approach that intimately connects the audience with the conveyed message, fostering enduring change. Whether a corporate meeting, women’s conference, company retreat or national gathering, Paula’s unique perspective and skilled storytelling engages everyone as she humbly and effectively advocates for gender equity, LGBTQ rights and better communication and appreciation for the differences among us.

Paula has been the CEO of a large religious non-profit, the editor-at-large of a national magazine, host of a national television show and a corporate consultant. With her doctoral thesis on the DiSC Personality Profile, Paula has led hundreds of corporate boards and work teams to become more efficient and productive. Paula has served as an adjunct university professor in the United States and Europe, and is the author of eight books, including She’s My Dad, co-authored with her son, Jonathan.

Paula’s memoir, As a Woman: What I Learned about Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned (Simon & Schuster), chronicles her transition journey and sheds light on the gendered landscape that impacts many in the LGBTQ+ community and women in the workplace and beyond. Her memoir will be turned into a limited series by Cannonball Productions.

In addition to her public speaking and corporate consulting, she is also a Pastor and Pastoral Counselor in Boulder County, Colorado. Paula has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, TEDWomen, TEDSummit, TEDxMileHigh, Red Table Talk, National Public Radio, Good Morning America, ABC Primetime News, CNN, People Magazine, and many other media outlets. She has been a keynote speaker for hundreds of conferences, corporations, and universities around the world. Her TED Talks have had over nine million views.

Paula Stone Williams's 2024 talks & topics

BREAK BARRIERS AND BUILD CONNECTIONS: FOUNDATIONS OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS AND UNDERSTANDING

Everyone is talking, but is anyone really listening? In a world increasingly divided by walls of fear, multiple-time TED speaker Paula Stone Williams offers a powerful message of hope and connection. As a transgender woman, national leader, and former pastor, Paula draws on her unique experiences in partisan spaces, giving you the tools to truly listen to those from backgrounds different than yours.

A journey of self-discovery and empathy through sharing her own story of living as both a man and a woman, Paula sheds light on the complexities of identity and the importance of listening and understanding differences in perspective.

In this presentation, Paula provides audiences with actionable steps for effective communications:

  • The problem with assumptions: Assumptions are based on our perspective, not on the truth. Be open to the possibilities of your own bias, look at the facts, and continue to educate yourself for a broader worldview.
  • It’s not about you: Recognize that humans work from different moral standards. Coming together and hearing each other’s stories, proximity and narrative, can explain those differences and narrow the divide between people and groups.
  • Use words without blame and judgment, toward yourself and others: Listen with grace and understanding. Be clear with intentions.
  • Do your best: Speak with integrity, and bring your whole self to the conversation.

Whether your audience is grappling with issues of diversity and inclusion, seeking to navigate the ever-changing landscape of communicating better across genders or generations, or simply yearning for a deeper understanding of the human experience, Paula’s message will foster empathy and better communication across lines of difference.

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE FOR GOOD: FOSTERING BETTER UNDERSTANDING

We’re living in a polarizing time in which debates over politics and policies related to hot button topics stay at the top of our news coverage. But what if it didn’t have to be so polarizing? What if we could change the narrative to provide deeper understanding and bring people together? Change has always begun through proximity and narrative. People do change their minds about deep-seated beliefs, but only when information comes in a non-threatening way. Broaden horizons, understand differences, and change the arc of a narrative.

In this talk, Paula Stone Williams will use her expertise in narrative communications to unpack the power of storytelling. Having worked in the past in more conservative spaces, Paula understands how to address radical topics from both sides of the spectrum with candor, openness and facts—not judgment. She explores the fundamental rules of communication that can break down walls and bring people together. Paula will leave you empowered to bridge the growing divide in our culture and create lasting change.

LOST IS A PLACE TOO: FINDING RESILIENCE IN DIFFICULT TIMES

Based on Paula Stone Williams’ own journey, this talk focuses on how to maintain resiliency through difficult seasons. In every great myth, the hero gets lost—profoundly lost. What Paula learned in that difficult place is the wisdom that inspires her journey. Through narrative and the accumulated knowledge of her decades as a CEO and Pastoral Counselor, Paula will imaginatively help the audience identify their own path through the brambles and briars, as they explore the insights gained in the land of the lost, and the resiliency that results.

I’VE LIVED AS A MAN AND A WOMAN. HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED.

Are men privileged in ways they do not understand? Do women have to work harder to be seen as leaders? Do men empower each other more than women empower each other? As a transgender woman with a doctorate in counseling, Paula Stone Williams has a unique perspective on how the differences between men and women can affect their everyday life—not only has she counseled in this area, she’s lived it! Based on her first TED talk (over 7 million views), Dr. Paula Stone Williams speaks about her experience living as a male and as a female, talking about how differently she is received as a woman than she was as a man. And yes, life is much harder as a woman.

With humor and insight, Paula answers these questions and more, using scientific data, an extensive understanding of popular culture, and her experience in both genders to explore the difference between equality and equity. Men will depart with a greater understanding of their own privilege, and the opportunities to make a difference that leverages that privilege. Women will understand the importance of standing up for themselves and working together to bring about change. Both genders will be asked to examine how we bring our privilege with us in all of our interactions.

In this talk, men will learn:

  1. The value of deference as an important trait to be developed by males.
  2. Learn to move from being allies for women to apprentices, working at the direction of those most affected.
  3. Discover ways to work collaboratively with women, being open to compromise, and open to correction.
  4. Learn how to listen actively.

Women will learn:

  1. How to empower one another.
  2. How to teach the next generation of women to be persistent instead of perfect.
  3. Learning to say “I’ve got this” instead of apologizing for oneself.
  4. How to own what you know

Everyone in the session will learn:

  1. The specifics of answering the call onto the Hero’s Journey, the obstacles on that journey, and the confidence and humility that can be gained on the journey.
  2. How to understand the origins of and navigate through Imposter Syndrome.
  3. Learn to view mistakes as learning opportunities.
  4. Learn the importance of practicing the Four Agreements.

FURTHER ALONG THE ROAD TOWARD GENDER EQUITY

On the path to gender equity in the workplace, mere awareness of the uneven playing field is insufficient. One must understand how these inequalities manifest within each unique environment to actively level it through thoughtful, nontoxic dialogue. As a follow-up to Paula Stone Williams’ most requested keynote address on her experience as a transgender woman, this talk delves deeper into the obstacles and opportunities to achieving true workplace parity. How can men be more attuned to the experiences of women and contribute to a more equitable environment? How can women collaborate effectively with men to achieve their professional goals?

Throughout this session, Paula weaves humorous stories, personal anecdotes, and compelling data to motivate and empower both men and women to become agents of change. Attendees will not only gain insights from Paula’s personal journey but also be invited to examine their own lives for subtle and overt instances where we internalize and perpetuate cultural messages, particularly within the workplace. From directly addressing workplace microaggressions to fostering trust and understanding within teams, Paula’s unique insights will equip your organization with the tools to demonstrably increase gender equality.

FROM ALLY TO APPRENTICE: SUPPORTING THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

In today’s hyper-sensitive environment related to sexual identity issues, we can close the divide of misunderstanding by gathering in the same space with those whose perspective is different from ours, listening to their stories, and telling our own stories. By focusing on our commonalities, we are reminded that what we hold in common far exceeds that which separates us. As a transgender woman with a doctorate in counseling, Paula Stone Williams shares her own story utilizing humor and pathos to model for others an environment of grace and curiosity. She provides scientifically factual information, combined with an extensive understanding of popular culture, to increase one’s understanding of and ability to work supportively with the LGBTQ+ community.

In this talk, audiences may learn:

  • Learn what the acronyms LGBTQ+ encompasses and use the terms correctly
  • Become familiar with the vocabulary related to LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Learn to foster safe environments for individuals to reveal their LGBTQ+ identities.
  • Learn how to avoid making assumptions about gender or partner preference of individuals.
  • Learn to view mistakes as learning opportunities.
  • Discover how to move from being allies to apprentices

Join Paula on this journey of understanding, where laughter and shared stories remind us that beneath all the labels we are all simply human, connected by our desire for hope and belonging.

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING TRANSGENDER BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK

In this presentation, transgender activist Paula Stone Williams will provide the audience with a basic understanding of what it means to be transgender. She will talk about what gender dysphoria is, what it is not, causes of gender dysphoria, suicidal ideation as it relates to gender dysphoria, and why transphobia is such a political hot button.

WHY ALL THE TURMOIL OVER TRANSGENDER ISSUES?

Almost 600 anti-transgender bills were introduced in State legislatures last year. Almost 100 were signed into law. Why is there such a backlash against the transgender community?

As a pastoral counselor and national speaker on gender equity, with over nine million TED Talk views anhowd a best-selling memoir about her transgender experience, Paula Stone Williams is the perfect person to help you understand why transgender issues have become such a tipping point in American culture. With humor, insight, and a surprisingly candid perspective, Paula will increase your understanding, answer your questions, and help you navigate the dangerous cultural waters of sex and gender politics.

Paula Stone Williams's 2024 speaking fees

Paula travels from:
  • United States

Specific fees fall within the ranges shown. These are presented as a guide only and are subject to change without notice.

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How would Paula Stone Williams deliver their presentation at your event?
Please provide details of your budget for Paula Stone Williams's speaking fee, including currency.