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Why The Pause Is Invaluable in Public Speaking

Nancy Daniels, Voice Coach


S
ometimes it appears that there is just too much to think about, to be aware of, and to focus upon in public speaking. While that may seem true at first, if you allow yourself to pause during your delivery, you will discover one of the most important aids when delivering a speech or presentation.


Talking non-stop is ineffective for both you and your listeners. To be bombarded by constant verbiage is tiring. They need breaks and so do you. If you allow yourself to pause, you will find yourself much more relaxed and better able to focus on your thoughts. That 2-second break, albeit brief, enables you to supplement your air supply and to categorize your thoughts. It allows your audience to categorize what they are hearing as well.

One of the problems for many novice speakers is lack of
If you breathe while talking to your family, friends or colleagues, why can’t you breathe while public speaking?
air. The pause solves that problem. By supplementing your balloon of air while speaking, you will have a continual supply of oxygen. If, on the other hand, you wait until you are totally spent, you will then be forced in inhale a huge amount of air which will actually produce more tension in your body. This results in a ‘cat and mouse’ situation in which you are constantly trying to fill your balloon or catch up on your air supply.

If you would allow yourself to pause while speaking – even to the point of interrupting your sentence – you will discover control over your pacing and your thoughts. By the way, you do this in normal conversation all the time. For some at the lectern, however, the idea of actually interrupting a sentence is forbidden. Why?

If you breathe while talking to your family, friends or colleagues, why can’t you breathe while public speaking? Because you have an audience? What do you think your family, friends or colleagues are when you are talking in conversation? They are your audience as well.
If you allow yourself to pause, you will find yourself much more relaxed and better able to focus on your thoughts.

Do not believe you cannot breathe while delivering a speech or presentation. The best in the business do it and so can you. Allow yourself to pause and supplement your air supply before you run out it, and I guarantee you will feel more confident and have better control over your delivery. In addition, your audience will be most appreciative because they will be able to focus better on what you are saying.





International Speaker and Voice Specialist, Nancy Daniels, has been involved in voice training since 1977. A graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in music, she discovered the techniques for improving the sound of the speaking voice while in graduate school at American University in Washington, D.C.

In addition to her guest speaking engagements, Nancy offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice training and public speaking skills throughout the United States and Canada. For those are unable to work with her directly, there is Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement.




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