Explore the power of pauses in your speeches and presentationsMotto of the day
Enjoy pauses as a speaker
The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
The topic of the day:
About the power of pauses in speeches and presentations
Today I share with you:
Pauses in speeches and presentations
A pause, if used correctly, can add a great deal to your speech. Powerful and persuasive presenters recognize the importance of the pause. Pausing a speech will create a moment, drive home a message and connect with an audience.
Your message is not simply conveyed by your words, but also by your pauses. In speaking, the drama and power of the speech are contained in the silences that you create as you move from one element to another. This is a skill that you can learn to master with practice. A pause isn’t a moment of nothing. Used strategically, it is a tool to help you build an intellectual and emotional connection with your audience. When you pause, you give your audience time to process what you have just said.
When most people get up to speak they tend to talk from the moment they are introduced till they sit down. Most speakers ignore that the pauses in their talk can get a lot of attention.
When you want to impress your audience to use the power of pauses. Next time you’re speaking just take an extra-long pause and observe what happens. In case you choose the right moment and your body language is good, there is a high chance that everyone looks up and starts paying more attention to you and your message.
The quote of the day
The quote “No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause”. is from Mark Twain’s Speeches, 1923. Seems he was interested in the power of pauses because he wrote in Autobiographical dictation, 11 October 1907:
That impressive silence, that eloquent silence, that geometrically progressive silence which often achieves a desired effect where no combination of words howsoever felicitous could accomplish it…. For one audience, the pause will be short; for another a little longer; for another a shade longer still; the performer must vary the length of the pause to suit the shades of difference between audiences. … I used to play with the pause as other children play with a toy.
Preparation of important speeches and presentations
Those who do not speak are not heard, and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered.
Do you want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least, I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.
You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)
You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby, there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.
By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...
A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements
How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.
Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.
Just ask me personally
Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. Are you looking for professional support?
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I select the motto of the day mostly because something about it appeals to me. Something attracts me or irritates me. It feels as if it could contain something and I want to get to the root of it. So I dedicate a motto to each day and let myself be surprised what it has to offer me.
Sometimes the reason for the choice clarifies itself only after a while. That's why the thoughts about the motto of the day are often not articles, but associations. They are thoughts transformed into words. They are spontaneous and I also publish them frequently while I am traveling. They, therefore, tend to appear in fragments. Feel invited to add your associations in the comments. Enrich the thoughts with your perspectives – to complete the picture.
How do you benefit best from the motto of the day?
Ask yourself constructive questions like the following and you will personally benefit from each motto of the day:
- What triggers the topic in you?
- Under what circumstances do you agree with the statement and when not?
- What is the significance of the statement for you?
- How can the motto of the day enrich your life?
- In what context could the statement be useful?
- Where and when do you want to remember it and how?
And what can I do if I disagree with a motto? There is often something personal to learn from quotations with which we disagree. Helpful questions in such a case are:
- What do you specifically disagree with?
- Do you think the statement is generally not helpful or only not suitable for you personally?
- Which aspect is worth taking a closer look at?
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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.
Published: March 1, 2009
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 22nd, 2022
“The finest language is mostly made up of simple, unimposing words.”
— George Eliot