Archive for the ‘pause’ Category

A lesson from Barack Obama

January 24, 2009

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Many of you would have watched as Barack Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States this week.

Many of you would have seen this eloquent man, who has given numerous speeches in the past, stumble and forget the words presented to him. But did you notice how he handled the situation?

Barack stood there confident and poised and waited for his line to be presented to him again.

Even the most confident of speakers can have a moment or two where their mind goes blank. How you deal with this when it happens will make all the difference.

The secret is to be confident in your self.

If you need to look at your notes then go ahead, you may also want to pause slightly longer than normal to gather your thoughts together. (see last weeks blog on pausing). Think about what you’ve been talking about and what you’d like to say next, have a sip of water if you need to extend the time slightly and then continue on.  

Watching other speakers, such as Obama, can help with those vital lessons on how to become a better speaker.

Keep speaking – Carrol

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Silence is Golden

January 17, 2009

shhhhhMany people under estimate the power of the pause, but a well timed pause is a powerful speaking technique and can add impact to your words.

 

That’s right folks, sometimes saying nothing is better than saying something.

So when should you use the pause?

  • You can use the pause to allow your audience  time to catch up with what you’ve been talking about and it allows you, the presenter, time to breathe.
  • The pause can be used for punctuation to let your audience know that you’ve finished a thought or sentence.
  • You can use the pause to attract attention, especially if you see that your audience has become distracted. If you pause the audience will look up to see what you’re doing.
  • Use a longer pause to emphasize your main point or just before your big statement. This tells your audience that you’re going to say something significant and they should listen.

When it comes to the length of a pause this is what I use:

For a short pause I count to 3 in my head, for a longer pause I count to 5 in my head.

When you practice this it feels really strange, but once you get use to it you’ll find it one of the most valuable tools around.

Keep speaking – Carrol