3 ways pauses can power up your presentation

Pauses add drama to a speech, but they also help you connect with your audience. Here’s how to use them.

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I recently had dinner with friends, and one took the opportunity to get a little free advice.

She had a speech coming up. She said: “I remember something about pausing being important, but I can’t remember the details. What are the three most important ways to use pauses?”

You can’t tell friends to research your old blog posts and find the one on pauses, so I was happy to give her the answer over dessert.

It’s probably time to update my thinking on pauses, anyway. I recently reviewed a tape of a client’s speech, and the speech seemed performed, not conversational.

You can’t tell someone caught up in adrenaline to “Be conversational!” because he may believe he already is. Adrenaline makes time seem to go faster than normal, so even though the speaker doesn’t appear to be waiting for the other half of the conversation, he is—just not long enough.

Here are the most important ways to use pauses in a presentation:

1. Build pauses into your speech to convey a genuine interest in the audience.

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