How to Engage Your Listeners by Allowing Ideas to ‘Land’ (Part 3): The Brief Pause
In today’s videoblog, I’ll share the third and final step in my three-part series called “How to Engage Your Listeners by Allowing Your Ideas to Land.”
In my last two videoblogs, I talked about the first two steps in this process: (1) Speak in complete thoughts and (2) pursue your point with energy and focus.
Today, I’ll share step three: Pause briefly after speaking a complete thought, to allow the idea to “land”.
Successful business speakers, like good actors, always consider pacing when they prepare to speak. The tempo of the spoken word has a strong impact on the listener and directly influences the way speakers are perceived. This raises the issue of pausing.
Even the smartest and best listeners need a moment to digest a complete thought. When you are speaking face-to face or on camera, your listeners need time to interpret meaning from a broad palette: a palette that includes your visual as well as vocal delivery. So, pauses are important.
A University of Michigan study revealed that speakers who never paused had the lowest success rate in getting listeners to do what they wanted them to do. The great British actor, 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. The pause will also give you time to get a reading on your listener’s understanding and engagement level. During the pause, breathe deeply and maintain good eye contact.
Without the pauses, your listeners may feel overwhelmed by an unmanageable amount of input. They may lose some of your meaning; they might even tune you out.
When you give your listeners time to process each thought, you are respecting their needs while you communicate your own conviction that your message is important.
Never underestimate the power of the pause!
Tags: business speaking, business speaking skills, executive speaking, how to engage listeners, how to engage your listeners, persuasive speaking, presentation skills, presenting, public speaking, visual and vocal impact, vocal impact