Public Speaking: 6 Simple Ways Pausing Removes Doubt and Nervousness
Many times I hear complaints that speakers aren’t able to engage their audiences and get the reactions they want. These speakers begin to doubt themselves and experience nervousness. They are frustrated because they spend a lot of time on crafting a beautiful speech with great words only to feel like they’ve still failed.
4 Common Speaker Frustrations
The truth is that the speakers have the power to shift their audience’s reactions. The power lies in the delivery. Here are are 4 complaints followed by 5 solutions based on one technique: pausing. This technique will help you remove doubt and nervousness to engage and connect your audience.
- My audience members get a glazed look. I lose them. It doesn’t seem like they’re with me anymore.
- I’m not able to connect on a personal level with my audience. They don’t relate personal experiences to the information I’ve shared.
- I lose my train of thought and ramble. I lose my credibility.
- My mouth gets dry and it’s hard to talk. This makes me even more anxious.
6 Benefits of Pausing
Pausing is one of the most overlooked delivery techniques. Whether you’re speaking to one person or hundreds, pausing help you convey your message effectively. Ultimately, you want your audience to understand you, engage in your message, connect to you emotionally, and remember what you’ve shared. You want them to take action. Pausing, done at opportune moments, accomplishes this. Here are 7 advantages of pausing.
- Increases your audience’s comprehension. When communicating complex information, pause to improve your audience’s comprehension. It takes the place of punctuation, bolding, italics, and bullets not present in written communication.
- Helps convey emotion. The key here is to use pauses authentically, as you would with a friend or family member.
- Controls the overall pace of your delivery. If you’ve practiced your speech, you will be fluent; however, you may speak too quickly. Your listeners may not be able to absorb the information.
- Are healthy. Pausing allows you to breathe, swallow, drink water. Inhaling and exhaling supplies your body with the necessary oxygen for clear thinking and can even prove to calm you if you’re nervous. Swallowing and drinking lubricates your throat and mouth.
- Engage your audience. Speaking without pauses forces your audience to expend mental effort to keep up with you. Pausing allows your audience to reflect on what you’re saying. By reflecting, your audience members attach more meaning to your message and make it personal to their own experiences and knowledge. Without given them this time, you miss out on the opportunity for them to engage on a personal basis with you.
- Replace filler words. This is a quick simple way of solving the dilemma of speaking “um,” “ah,” “you know,” “so,” etcetera. Many people think using filler words keeps the flow going when they are trying to remember their next thought. They feel like it buys them time. Actually, it signals lack of authenticity, knowledge, and preparation. Pausing allows you to think of your next words and allows your audience time to reflect.
Empower your speech through this one simple technique: pausing. It’s one way to remove your doubt and nervousness.
Here’s to your public speaking success!