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Public Speaking Course: 

Pauses

In my public speaking course you will learn the technique of silence can add to the overall effectiveness and polish of your presentation. Don't feel like you must constantly keep talking to keep the audience awake. 

Actors in theater have identified many different pauses which they use during a  performance. My public speaking course you will teach you how to use these pauses while you are on stage. I'm only going to address some of the most obvious and important ones here.

Short

The shortest pauses, which last anywhere from one-half to two seconds, are just used to gather your thoughts.

All you have to remember is to slow down. Give the audience a chance to comprehend what you are telling them.

Change your voice inflection slightly at the end of each thought to cue the audience the next thought is coming.

Also, use a short pause both before -- and after -- any phrase or word you want to emphasize. (Refer to this website's
'How to Deliver a Punch Line' article, for reference.)

Spontaneity

Another type of pause you can use is known as a "spontaneity pause".

This is a planned 'unplanned' pause used so that you don't look too rehearsed, which means it requires lots of practice to pull off well without looking like it was rehearsed.

You might apply this pause when you want to pretend to search for a word or phrase that you already know.

Long

Long or "pregnant" pauses lasting more than three seconds can be very powerful if used the right way.

They command the audience to ponder and think about what you just said, that is if what you just said was worth thinking about.

Please - [pause] - [pause] - [pause] - don't be afraid to be quiet once in a while. The silence can call the audience to attention.

Like in the theater, a pause can dramatically increase your impact, and add an element of passion and power to your presentation as is taught in my public speaking course.

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