January 5, 2010

Silent pauses can be a particularly powerful way to get the point across.  Pause for a couple of seconds before you make a significant statement.  People will pay more attention to it.  By interrupting the rhythm of your voice, your audience sub-consciously recognise that something is about to happen and it makes then listen even harder.

At the start of a presentation before you make your opening remarks, pause, look around the room smile at your audience and gather your thoughts.  Instead of diving straight in, a pause at the start will ensure everyone’s attention is on you and that they are ready and eager to hear what you are going to say.

People who are new to presenting or public speaking, often feel that they cannot stop talking and that any pause seems to last a lifetime.  They want to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible and by stopping talking not only are they delaying the finish, they are not doing what the are there to do, which is talk. It is as if leaving a pause is drawing attention to themselves, rather then their speech.  They would be right but it is a very useful thing to do.

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