Happy New Year to all of you,
Today I am focusing on the power of the pause. The main reason I am doing this is because most nervous or inexperienced speakers do not pause enough or use the pause to their advantage.They often just want to get the speech over with and cannot see that their audience is missing some or even all of their message as it is being too fast for them to take in.
We already know, from previous blogs that you need to speak at about 120 words per minute. Today, I want to point out when, why and how to pause for effect. The main thing is to pause long enough for your audience to take in what you are saying. Also, pause long enough to allow you to breathe. Also, if you need to look at your notes, that is a great time to pause.
If you pause between points for about three seconds, your audience will realise that you are moving onto another point. Although you will signal and signpost this shift by telling them that you are making another point or changing focus.
The main advantage of pausing is that it makes your audience sit up and listen. Why have you stopped? What is next? What are you doing? You could be looking at your notes, changing a slide or pausing for effect. What ever your reason, if t is deliberate and well timed, it will enhance your presentation.
So, do not be afraid of pauses. They are helpful. They give your audience time to take in what you have said, to think about what you have said, to picture the images you have painted. It may seem a long time to you. But the more you do it, the easier it will become and you will even enjoy the moments of since you have created.