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The Art of the Pause

13-52When trying to drive an important point home, silence can be worth a thousand words. Learning how to insert a pause in the proper place while speaking can help clarify your speech, and make your message easier to understand. In addition, regular pauses allow your listener time to process your speech and better understand your message.

However, not all pauses are created equal. The placement and length of your pause can make a huge impact on your message. You want to make sure you’re pausing in the most powerful, effective places possible, for the right amount of time. Unfortunately, optimal pausing may not come naturally especially when you’re speaking in public or in a high-pressure situation. Here at Corporate Speech Solutions, we’ve created a Strategic Marking System™ to help organize pausing during speech.

The Strategic Marking System breaks pauses down into three categories, which are denoted by specific markings:
/ = A short, typically 1-second pause. This is often used to emphasize a particular word or point, or may be used where a comma occurs.
// = A mid-length pause, roughly 2 seconds. This may be used to break up sections of a sentence or add particularly strong emphasis to a word or phrase.
///= A long pause, close to 3 seconds. This is generally used between sentences

When preparing a presentation, go through your speech in advance and physically write in where you think you should pause and for how long using the Strategic Marking System. Then, try reading it out loud with the inserted pauses. Revise, if needed, then continue to practice until the pace feels second-nature.

The Strategic Marking System will not only make your speech sound more eloquent and meaningful, but will help your listener fully absorb your intended message.

For more on the Strategic Marking System, check out the video below to hear Corporate Speech Solutions
Founder and President, Jayne Latz, talk about the power of the pause:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEaqM0gGIcQ

Want to learn more great techniques to make your communication skills your strongest professional tool? Give us a call! For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com. Not in NYC? No problem! We also provide Skype and video conferencing services.
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