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Public Speaking Course: 

Pauses

My public speaking course shows you that a speaker does not need to talk constantly to keep the audience awake and interested. Skilled speakers know how to use the technique of silence to make the presentation more effective.

Actors in the theater have identified many different pauses they use while performing. In my public speaking course you will learn the best way to utilize these pauses. 

Spontaneous

  • A spontaneous pause is a planned 'unplanned' pause used so that you don't look too rehearsed, which requires a lot of practice to pull off well.
  • You might apply this pause when you want to pretend to search for a word or phrase that you already know.

Short

  • The shortest pauses, which last anywhere from one-half to two seconds, are for the simple purpose of gathering your thoughts.
  • All you have to remember is to slow down. Give the audience a chance to understand what you are saying.
  • Change your voice inflection slightly at the end of each thought to cue the audience the next thought is coming.
  • Use a short pause both before -- and after -- any phrase or word you want to emphasize. (Refer to this website's 'How to Deliver a Punch Line' article, for reference.)

Long

  • Long or "pregnant" pauses of more than three seconds are very powerful to use!
  • They command the audience to ponder, to linger long, on what you just said, that is if what you just said was worth thinking about.
  • Please - [pause] - [pause] - [pause] - don't be afraid to be quiet once in a while. The silence can call the audience to attention.

A pause can dramatically increase the impact of what your saying, as well as add an element of passion and power to your presentation.

 
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