Effective Communication Skills Training: Concise, Clear, Confident. Part 5 (of 7) | Effective Pauses

Effective Communication Skills Training: Concise, Clear, Confident. Part 5 (of 7) | Effective Pauses

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Hello again friends. You’re about to do
lesson five in the course. So let’s just jump right. In and our last lesson, we looked at organizing your thoughts clearly. In lesson 5, we’ll look at effective
pauses. Concise tip number five is pause to add emphasis. And this really is a
conciseness tip, however, it’s going to make you sound much more clear and
certainly much more confident. Pauses in the wrong places can make you sound
long-winded. Pauses in the right place make you sound clear and concise. And good pauses emphasize your points and add a confident cadence. It gives your speech a
rhythm or a tempo that those professional speakers and those leaders
have. Pauses are really like a secret weapon in communication. Ralph Richardson, a well-known actor on the stage and screen from years ago said, “The most
precious things in speech are pauses.” And I could not agree more. Strategy number one. Pause at the end of
sentences. That’s where your pauses belong. It makes you sound more confident. It lets listeners accept and remember your
message. During that pause they get to process it for just a moment and it
gives you a natural stopping place to end you’re talking turn. That’s one of the goals of being a
concise, clear, and confident communicator. Is you make your point, and as we said in
an earlier lesson, then you zip it. And it allows you to have a back-and-forth or a
dialogue with other people because the pause gives them a place to jump in. So let’s listen to where the pauses are
here. We have a few items to cover today. We’ll look at our social media campaign. We’ll look at our overall growth. And Erin will take suggestions about
changes to the website. Now these pauses are in the right place. They’re where the
punctuation is at the end of the nice concise sentences. These are good examples of concise
sentences. From an earlier lesson. And if we were to visualize this, it looks a
little bit more like bullets in a list where the pause comes right at the end
of that bulleted item and then you go on to the next item. These are like headlines that we talked
about in an earlier lesson. Or, even they’re not funny, but the length
of a punchline for a joke and that’s where the pauses belong. Pauses at the end literally punctuate your statements for listeners. It helps them separate the
ideas because you have with the sound of your voice separated your ideas. You should only pause for about one
second, just long enough to say the word pause in your head. Sometimes people pause for two or three
or more sentences [seconds] to add that dramatic feel, I don’t think that’s necessary in most
cases. Just long enough to say the word “pause” or “period” in your head. Strategy number two. Avoid mid-thought
pauses. Pauses in the middle of your statements really make it drag. And it’ll
sound labored and long-winded even if you’re not using a lot of words. So let’s
listen to what it sounds like when the pauses are in the wrong place. We have a few items to cover today we’ll
look at our social media campaign we’ll look at our overall growth and Erin
will take suggestions about changes to the website. So it doesn’t sound right. It
sounds like we’re hanging, we’re waiting for that next moment that just, oh
finish your thought, and you may have listened to people in conversation with
a pause in the middle. And it can take an ordinary sentence and make it really
sound extra-long. So we want to pause in the right places. Strategy 3 is to pause
to separate key ideas. When you were, for example, giving a roadmap to set up a
meeting or presentation, we want to pause between items. In that meeting or
presentation and anytime your listing items–two or three or four items–you
want to pause where the commas are. So here’s a sentence. Eighties rock is the
best because it has loud drums, crunchy guitars, and soaring locals. So we’re
pausing where we see the punctuation would naturally be. And it gives it that
nice confident sound where the ideas are separated. Some people, by the way would say screeching locals instead of soaring vocals but I was trying to be kind
because I’m a big fan of eighties rock. So pause in the right place for clarity
and emphasis. Our take-away strategies are to pause at the end of sentences. Avoid
mid-thought pauses that give it that dragging sound. And to pause to separate
ideas in a list, especially things like a preview statements in a
presentation or when you’re setting up a meeting. Your task is to practice pausing in all
your communication to have that clarity in the next few days. It’s also going to
sound, makes it sound much more confident, much more concise for your listeners. Up
next we are going to work on avoiding fillers and I look forward to seeing you
in that lesson.

4 thoughts on “Effective Communication Skills Training: Concise, Clear, Confident. Part 5 (of 7) | Effective Pauses”

  1. Hey Alex, love your guides- lots of value and great information. However- although what you say is good on paper, I can't draw up a logical structured plan like you do on past videos, when I'm in conversation. I'm a rambler, what do you suggest I do?A spontaneous conversation on a bus could tip your (fantastic) tips on their head..?

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