Next time you have to talk in front of a group or in a one-on-one presentation, remember this advice: Hold on a bit.
“Pausing is one of the best choices you can make in a speaking situation,” says Jorge Barria of Speakeasy, a Buckhead communications consultancy that helps executives and others improve their storytelling skills.
“It allows you to inhale and exhale to relax, and it gives you time to think, so it reduces your fear that your mind is going to go blank. The pause also helps you be a more effective speaker because it helps you project authority, energy and audience awareness.”
I enjoyed the expertise of Barria and the Speakeasy team recently. The teachings are invaluable to me. Although I’m comfortable writing stories about other people, I’m less confident talking about myself. In particular, I sometimes struggle to find the right balance between humility and appropriate self-promotion. Go too far one way and risk appearing arrogant — too far the other way and I might seem dispassionate.
Barria likens the pause to a Swiss Army knife because of its multitude of uses. It lets your audience absorb your content. And in storytelling, in particular, it can help… build… anticipation.
Anticipation, yes, and … payoff.
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