Saturday, April 27, 2013

Presentation Skills: The Power of the Pause

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com

The pause is a powerful, though underutilized, presentation tool.

There are several reasons why pauses are effective in presentations.  First, pauses give your audience a chance to think about and absorb what you just said.  Pausing also gives you a chance to breathe properly. 

Pauses can also help you eliminate “ums” and “ahs” that tend to creep into your presentation when you are not sure what’s coming next.  If you replace your “ums” and “ahs” with a pause while you think of what to say next, you will sound more confident and the audience won’t be distracted. 

Additionally, pauses convey confidence – powerful people pause.  They have so engaged the audience that people are waiting eagerly for their next words.

How long should you pause? Enough that you can catch your breath and the audience can absorb what you’ve just said, but not so long that they will think you’ve forgotten what to say next. Keep in mind that it will feel longer to you than it does to the audience - record yourself so you hear long it sounds.

And if you smile confidently when pausing for a few seconds, the audience will see that it’s just a pause and that you didn’t lose your place. If you do it well, they won’t even be conscious that you’re pausing and it will just be a natural part of your presentation.

The next time that you have to give a presentation, try pausing rather than rushing from one sentence to the next - you’ll become a more powerful and effective presenter.


Also see my blog posts:

Presentation Skills: Non-Verbals – Use Your Voice Effectively
http://gildabonanno.blogspot.com/2013/04/presentation-skills-non-verbals-use.html

Presentation Skills: How to Project Your Voice & Project Authority
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com
 

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