When Presenting … pause here, here and here!

Presentation SkillsSometimes the key to clarity in a presentation isn’t what you’re saying, it’s what you’re not saying. Learning how to insert a well-timed and effective pause into your presentation is one of the simplest, and most effective tools for improving your delivery. A pause is an essential part of clear, articulate speech, but not all pauses are created equal. Take a look at these three ways that you can use pauses to take your professional communication skills to the next level.

Pause for Tempo
One of the most common communication mistakes we make is rushing through our speech, especially when we are excited or anxious. This can result in the listener missing critical information. We must be sure to pause in between words when we provide critical information to our audience. This includes: pausing between your first and last names when introducing yourself, pausing between each word in the name of your organization, and pausing between “chunks” in your phone number and email address when providing your contact information.

Pause for Emphasis
Pausing can also be used to add variety and impact to your presentation. If you want to drive a point home or draw attention to a certain fact, pausing before and after can help highlight the information. It’s like a big warning sign that says, “Watch out for this.” This tactic is often used in presentations to groups, but it can also be useful in one-on-one interactions. This is particularly true in situations in which you are trying to persuade your listener, such as in negotiations or a sales presentation.

Pause for Clarity
It’s very easy for an audience to get “lost” when listening to someone speak for a prolonged period 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 will remember your message afterward. Our Communication Skills course could be helpful in developing oral and written skills to make your presentations as effective as possible.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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