The importance of pace
You’re having your say at a big meeting or addressing a conference. All eyes are on you and there's a pesky inner voice undermining your confidence. The instinctive ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in, accompanied by a rush of adrenalin. You speak too fast, as if you want to escape.
Here’s our number one tip: fall in love with the full stop (and the comma). Decent pauses, combined with natural variations in pace, mean that:
- Your audience has time to process what you say
- You avoid gabbling and your voice keeps its music
- You have a chance to breathe and think what comes next
- Your talk sounds structured
- Your audience stays engaged
So what is a ‘decent pause’? Try making a speech aloud in private, clicking your fingers once for a comma and twice for a full stop. This will give you a feel for what will work in the conference hall or meeting room.