So you learned in the last post where you should look when you’re speaking.
You must learn the importance of pausing during your speech
“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.” – Sir Ralph Richardson
If you listen to experienced speakers, it’s easy to see some real differences in how their presentation skills as they step through their speech than maybe how you go about giving a talk when you’re called upon to speak in public. Use every opportunity you can get to listen to different public speakers and learn from them.
From speakers who have effective presentation skills, study why they are effective and learn how to correct problems in your own presentation. For speakers who are excellent, learn their presentation skills and do what works. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. It’s all part of learning.
Experienced public speakers hold an audience in the palm of their hand is because they are totally relaxed up there, they have honed their presentation skills.
That is a calculated relaxation. In fact, most of the methods used such as his use of hands, the vocal range of his voice, where he looks and how he moves are all carefully planned and part of that presentation and who that speaker is.
All good things come with time and practice.
If you need a few times in front of a group, or a few dozen times before you can begin to get that relaxed, be generous with yourself and understand that giving a skilled presentation is the kind of thing that you can read about all day long but you don’t get good at it until you just do it.
Notice that smooth speakers often will pause and allow that moment of quiet in a presentation to just hang there.[
For most of us, the idea of a pause is terrifying. When that other speaker pauses, you may have fallen just as terrified as if it was happening to you. Not to worry, because a skilled speaker uses pauses to create interest and isn’t afraid to let his presentation stop for a moment either intentionally or to check notes or make some other adjustment.
The pause is actually a very powerful communications tool.
You can master many presentation skills, and this is one you can use it to make points, add drama or just wake up an audience that may have begun to doze off on you. That is because as you speak along if your presentation is somewhat long, it is easy for people to be lulled into an unintentional trance of sorts.
The mind can wander and people doze off as you speak.
They track to the continuous sound of your voice and the melodic tempo that you naturally fall into when you speak in public.
When you begin to use pauses and changes to the tempo of your presentation, you break that natural rhythm of your talk.
The pause will jar the audience back to you and they will suddenly be attentive with that “what did I miss” look on their faces. That is a real tool to help your audience stay focused and to use particularly when you’re approaching a point that is an important part of what you have to say.
Most of us when we are just starting out in public speaking fear the pause in our presentation, because we haven’t yet understood and mastered our presentation skills. Not to worry, as with anything else in this field, it just takes practice.
That moment when you’re not speaking and that audience is looking at you and nothing is happening can feel like you’re falling to your death.
But in truth, all you have done is focus the concentration of the group on you and on your talk. So, embrace the pause. If used with caution and sparingly, it can be a powerful communications tool to help you make your point.
“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” – Martin Fraquhar Tupper
Now you know why pausing during your speech is an important presentation skill to master for your onstage success. Is this post helping you? Please leave a comment below and let me know. Thanks!
Keep the Shiny Side Up,