Use the Power of Pause When Speaking

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Whenever effective public speakers end a sentence or phrase, they usually pause. This gives listeners time to absorb their words. Nervous presenters often do the opposite: The stress of being in front of an audience causes them to speak faster and faster, rushing past the pauses. Whether you’re speaking to a large group of strangers or a small room full of colleagues, give your audience a moment to take in your information. Create a pause by dropping your voice at the ends of your phrases instead of raising it, which avoids the dreaded “Valley Girl” effect. Concentrate on dropping your voice and you’ll not only sound more authoritative, but you’ll add those essential pauses.

Adapted from “When Presenting, Remember to Pause” by Jerry Weissman.

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