Would you like your business listeners to be drawn IN when you speak? Would you like them to feel eager to hear what you’re going to say next?
If your answer is YES, you need the power of the pause. Successful business speakers, like good actors, always consider pacing when they are going to speak. The tempo of your spoken word has a strong impact on your listeners and directly influences their level of engagement and influences the way you are perceived. Your pauses are key.
Even the smartest and best listeners need a moment to process a spoken idea. When you listeners can see you, they need time to interpret meaning from a broad palette: your visual delivery, as well as vocal delivery. Your pauses can give them the time they need.
A University of Michigan study revealed that when speakers never paused, they had the lowest success rate in getting listeners to do what they wanted them to do. And the great British actor, Sir John Gielgud, famously said that, when acting Shakespeare, the pauses are the most important moments of the speech! He knew that pauses can be captivating.
Help your business listeners receive the full impact of your message by giving them the gift of time. Pause briefly after each complete thought, to let it “land”. Don’t be in a rush to go on to your next idea. Another benefit of the pause is that it gives you time to get a reading on your listener’s understanding and engagement level. During the pause, breathe deeply and maintain eye contact.
During the pause, your listeners will usually be wondering why you’ve paused and wondering what you’re going to say next. So, your pauses increase listener curiosity and engagement level, and they make you more compelling.
Without the pauses, your listeners may feel overwhelmed by an unmanageable amount of input. They may lose some of your meaning; they may even tune you out.
When you give your listeners time to process each thought, you are respecting their needs, communicating that your message has value, and drawing them IN.
Never underestimate the power of the pause!
Tags: acting techniques for business speaking, building belief, business speaking skills, elevator speeches, executive presence, executive speaking, how to engage your listeners, persuasive power, vocal impact