fbpx
Phoenix Public Speaking coaching and workshops

Archive for Public speaking skills – Page 16

Tip #2: The Power of the Pause

“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.” – Sir Ralph Richardson

Sometimes, saying nothing at all can speak volumes. A well-timed pause can be one of the most important rhetorical devices in a speaker’s arsenal. So, when should you pause?

Here are two great times to use the power of the pause:

(1) After asking a question. Give the audience times to ponder your questions in their own minds. This will help draw them into what you’re talking about. Imagine hearing a speaker ask: “What are you doing to ensure your family has a safe and secure future?” If the speaker pauses, members of the audiences will likely think about the question and then be curious to hear what the speaker has to say next.

(2) When the audience is reacting. If the audience is applauding, laughing or otherwise reacting to your words, pause for a moment. Don’t walk on your adulation. Savor the moment! Don’t start talking until the audience has finished reacting. If they are reacting, they are engaged. Don’t cut their engagement short. If you do start speaking, the audience won’t be able to clearly hear what you’re going to say next and you’ll lose the opportunity to fully engage them. If you pause, it allows those who are applauding or laughing to fully engage in the moment. A pause also will allow members of the audience who may not be applauding or laughing to hear those who are reacting and that just might help draw them into the speech.

When it’s done correctly, a pause can move an audience in a unique way. Give it a try and see how the sounds of silence can work for you.

 

Tip #1: How to Speak Without Notes

How do you deliver a well-organized and powerful presentation without reading from a bunch of notes? Answer: Memorize your speech outline, not a script. Memorizing your outline will help you stay on point and allow you to deliver your presentation hands-free.

Every presentation should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. There are many sub-components you could add to each of those sections. Following is a sample speech outline that works for many types of presentations.

Sample Speech Outline

Introduction

  • Hook (attention grabber)
  • Introduce Yourself
  • Verbal Roadmap: “Today we are going to talk about three key points …”

Body

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

Conclusion

  • Summary: “Here’s what we covered today …”
  • Call to Action: “I challenge and encourage you to …”
  • Outcome: “And when we do this together, we will all live in a better world.”

By learning to speak unscripted, you will look more natural, be more compelling, have more credibility, and exude more confidence. And when you do, you will deliver more persuasive presentations.

To learn more about speaking unscripted, check out our upcoming workshop: Impromptu Speaking: Presenting Without a Net.