Like a good speech, this blog post is short and sweet. It’s a continuation of last week’s post regarding Pausing to Prepare before you speak.
Mark Twain once said,
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
Here are some tips for pausing during your speech:
– Pause regularly to check for understanding. Make sure the audience is tracking with you. Simply observing their non-verbal response is key. IF they are staring at their phones, it may be a good sign that they aren’t tracking with you
– Pause to involve your audience. Ask for their input. Give them a quiz. If the audience is more than 25 people have them discuss a part of your content in a small group then ask them to report back on what they discussed.
– Pause to give them time to give them viewpoint and encourage questions without asking this question, “Are there any questions?” Strangely there are almost never any questions when I hear this question being asked. Instead say, “In a moment, there will be time for Q&A and I am looking forward to your challenging questions, easy questions, hard questions, and questions that …. I think you get the picture. I call this the question set up and it gives them time to think. When it’s time for Q & A, ask, “What questions do you have or how can I help clarify anything from my presentation?”
– Pause to bring some new perspective, a contrarian viewpoint, or a recent article that would add to or support your main point or make people think
– Pause for input from a subject matter expert on the topic for which you will be speaking
Next week I will let you know what you should do after you speak.
This is Part 2 of a 3 part series