Monday, 19 August 2019 22:59

Are stops and pauses necessary while public speaking?

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No, I don’t believe stops and pauses are necessary while public speaking however, if you want to become an effective public speaker and improve your messages there is value in adding pauses.

I’ve seen many speakers that are fast talkers and their presentation is like a road race, they are fighting to get it over as fast as they can. I usually find myself saying “breathe, breathe.”

I believe there is value in adding a pause at certain points in your presentation to allow your audience to consider the point you made before you move on to your next thought.

It has been suggested you pause every 5 or 6 words to allow your audience to think about what you’re saying before you move on to your next thought. This may be appropriate in a presentation where the details are crucial and you need to give your audience time to process each point before introducing a new one. I think this would create a boring presentation and I would probably walk out on it.

Your presentation needs to have a balance of pace: example, parts of your presentation should be rapid to share something exciting, it should be slowed down at times where your content is somber. It should have variations in volume and pitch as well.

I recall a presentation I delivered at a Toastmasters meeting. It was a serious topic I was speaking about and at a certain point I had forgotten my next line. I paused for a few seconds to think of the line. My speech evaluator advised me my pause was perfectly placed and was the best part of my presentation. From then on, I tried to incorporate dramatic pauses in strategic places within my presentations.

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