Public speaking can be a nerve-racking experience for those of us who are not used to it and one of the things we fear the most is the awkward silence. But pausing while giving a speech or presentation isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Microphone close up image from Shutterstock
Bill McGowan is the CEO of a communications consulting firm and an author on the topic of public speaking. In a blog post, he noted that most people think that speaking with a constant stream of words makes them sound intelligent. But when speaking to an audience, there needs to be natural gaps. But these gaps are often filled by “um” or “ah” for those who are too eager to cover up any silence:
Those dreaded filler words are not period substitutes. Speaking in shorter, choppier sentences will always keep your listener’s attention more than one droning, paragraph-long sentence.
Embracing pausing when speaking in public will make also make you sound more confident in what you’re talking about.
[Via LinkedIn Pulse Blog]