Why you should bring pauses into your presentation

If you're guilty of speaking too fast when you present, this one's for you! 🤫

This week, why you should be incorporating more pauses into your presentations to heighten the emotional experience.

Why does it work?
If you're one of those people who speaks too fast, rather than try and regulate your pace (which requires a lot of mental energy), try pausing more instead. Pauses heighten the emotional experience for an audience. You can use them to build suspense and to give your audience space to reflect. Use them well and you will own the room, like the conductor of an orchestra. 🪄

But that sounds excruciatingly uncomfortable... 🥴 
It is at first, but the more you practice it the easier it gets. Not least because when you can learn to become comfortable with silence, you'll stop saying erm... and ahhh...

How long should a pause last?

Your audience will start noticing a pause at around 1.5 seconds, but in certain circumstances, you can hold pauses for between 5 seconds and 10 seconds if you really wanted!

That's not very helpful, Alex.
Ok, fine. A simple trick that I use when I pause is to calmly say to myself:

‘This moment is mine’

That's a great starting point.

Where should I put them to maximise the impact?
To heighten the emotional experience. Aim to pause:

  1. Before you start speaking,

  2. Before you say something important,

  3. After you say something important,

  4. After asking a rhetorical question,

  5. Before you are asked a question (so you have time to think)

Give it a try this week 💪.


Whenever you're ready, here are some ways I can help:

1. Need to get better at presenting your work? Grab a copy of my book how to nail high-stakes presentations, Make It Count 📘.

2. Looking for a practical way to take your thought leadership and presentation skills to the next level? Join MicDrop, my community for thought leaders that speak 🎤.

3. Want me to equip your team with the skills to speak with confidence and clarity in 60 minutes? Enquire about my workshops by booking a call here ☎️.

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