It’s said that well-timed silence can speak louder than words. This is especially true when trying to improve your communication: whether you’re working on your public speaking skills, or trying to master the American English accent, learning how and when to pause can have a huge impact on your success.
In general, pausing can make your speech more understandable, creating a natural break between words, and giving your listener time to process your message. However, there are also ways to use pausing strategically to achieve certain communication goals. Take a look at these three different ways that you can use pauses to take your business communication skills to the next level:
Pause to Clarify Your Message: It’s very easy for an audience to get “lost” when listening to someone speak for a prolonged amount of time. Pausing at regular, strategic points in a presentation allows your audience to follow along more effectively, and makes it more likely that they’ll remember your message afterward.
Pause for Emphasis: Pausing can also be used to add variety and impact to your speech. If you want to drive a point home or draw attention to a certain fact, pausing before and after can help highlight the information. This is very useful in public speaking, but it can also make a significant difference in your one-to-one interactions. Pausing for emphasis is particularly helpful in situations in which you are trying to convince your listener, like negotiations or a sales pitch.
Pause for Clear Speech: One of the most common communication mistakes people make is rushing through their speech, especially when they are excited or anxious. This can result in the listener missing critical information. Briefly pause between words when giving your listener important information. For example, you may want to pause between your first and last names when introducing yourself or pause between each word in the name of your company.
Watch the video below to hear me demonstrate how dramatically a strategic pause can improve your speech!
Want to learn more? Contact us to learn more about Corporate Speech Solutions’ Strategic Marking System™, our method that helps you decide where to pause and for how long, to make your presentations and personal communication as effective as possible.
If you have questions or are interested in improving your communication skills, give me a call at 212-308-7725 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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