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The Power of Pacing and Pausing

By December 16, 2019Blog

It’s only natural to be a little nervous when performing on camera. Sometimes those nerves can even lead to picking up the pace of your delivery, especially if you want to get through it as quickly as possible.

Unless your audience has the option to rewind, they only have one chance to hear and comprehend what you say.  If you are flying through your presentation, the chances of them remembering anything are pretty slim.

To make sure your audience hears your message, you need to slow down. So how do you do that when you’re so nervous? Unleash the power of the pause — for you and your viewer.

Let’s begin with you.

If you don’t make time to take a breath and fill your lungs with air and give yourself a chance to gather your thoughts and deliver your content with meaning, you’ll likely end up feeling a tightness in your throat. Eventually your vocal tone will become thinner and thinner and thinner until you have to stop.

Pause for you — it’ll improve your vocal tone and allow your voice to be full.

Taking a breath is also one of the best ways to control your anxiety.

But there’s a huge cognitive benefit too.  It gives you time to gather your thoughts.  Most of us skip the pause and say, “Uhhhh” or “umm.” I call these verbal placeholders. They have no meaning, but they let our audience know we have more to say, we don’t have the words fully formulated yet.

But those filler words undercut our credibility and can be downright annoying when used too much.

The next time you are about to say uh, um or so, substitute silence instead. It’ll make you sound much more authoritative.

But pause for your audience too.  They need to let your words sink in, and if you barrel through, they won’t have time to do so.

Watch Karin Reed explain how silence can command attention from your audience.

Learn More: On-Camera Coach

If you found this information valuable, check out my book, On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World, now available from Wiley Publishing. On-Camera Coach aims to take the mystery out of communicating through the camera and provides specific tips and techniques that can make your message sing—and you, the messenger, feel confident in a job well done.