The audience was waiting for the company president to say something. The chatter stopped and the sound of the room was hushed. Only the sound of the projector hummed above the hushed pulsating breathing of the crowd. The CEO stood tall behind the lectern quietly looking at the crowded room for about 30 seconds then stepped away to the side of the lectern opened his arms wide and said "Thank you for being on my team"
That president received a standing ovation before he even started his presentation.
He combined the power of pausing with a good opening.
When was the last time you found yourself hanging on the words of a speaker?
If you want to add more power to your keynote or workshop presentations learn how to PAUSE.
You can pause after you have made a point to allow it to marinate in the minds of your listeners. You can also pause before you continue your presentation to arouse the anticipation of your listener.
Pausing is a skill. Like all skills, it takes practice.
Consider practicing the following:
1. Pause before you say anything at the beginning of your presentation for a few seconds. Center yourself, breath and make eye contact with your audience.
Not only will this help you to relax but also it will arouse the curiosity of your audience. I would not suggest a real long pause because the audience may wonder if you are ill.
2. Pause about a few seconds after you tell the punch line of a joke, make a startling statement, or make a call to action.
If you have told a joke, it allows time for your audience to laugh. If you make a startling statement, it will provide time it to sink into the minds of your listeners. In addition, if you make a call to action the pause will allow time for your audience to respond.
3. Pause as you make a change from one topic to the next.
So often a speaker may speed up their pace because of time pressures. As a result, they may make transitions from one topic to the next without their audience realizing it.
Remember also, that it is far better to use pauses instead of filler words like uhms or ok, and everything, etc.
Do not be afraid of the silence it is a rare event these days. Instead, use PAUSE POWER the next time you present!