Embrace the "Awkward" Silence


10th Issue of Newsletter

Free Your Voice from Speaking Anxiety

Happy Sunday!

Today, I will give you 5 reasons to embrace that awkward silence, otherwise known as a pause, in your communications. Let's get to it!


EMBRACING THE AWKWARD SILENCE IN YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING

Are you scared of taking pauses when you communicate?

Do you feel panicked when faced with that awkward silence between two words or two sentences when communicating?

Does it feel like an eternity whenever you pause for a second in your talks and presentations?

It sure used to feel like that to me.

If your answer to any of these questions was yes ...

you may want to read further.

There is a plethora of reasons why you should embrace that awkward silence, a.k.a pauses, in your talks and presentations.

But

Today, I'm going to highlight the top 5 reasons why taking pauses can be a game-changer to leveling up your public speaking skills.

Are you ready?

Ok.

Let's go!

1 - Pausing for Emphasis

The most powerful usage of taking a pause is to emphasize the key sentences and key phrases in your talk.

For instance ...

Imagine you are delivering a talk to share the big secret behind building a profitable online business.

Right before you are about to share that secret ...

Take a pause.

Let them wait.

Let them pay all of their attention to what is going to come next....

Once you've got everyone's attention, slow down and then tell them the secret(s).

Once you've shared the secret, take another pause for them to process it.

If needed, repeat the key sentence one more time.

Similarly, pauses can also be used to emphasize the key phrases in a sentence.

2 - Pausing to Calm Your Nerves

When we are about to start our talk or presentation, our anxiety level is at its absolute max.

But don't panic ...

This happens to everyone on planet earth who is a human being—some admit to this and some don't, and those who don't admit, they are liars.

What I have learned from my experience as a public speaker is that pausing for a few seconds in the beginning goes a long way to calming those nerves.

So, here is what you may want to do:

Don't jump right into your talk after stepping up on stage.

Instead ...

Take your time.

Pause.

Breathe.

And then open your talk using one of these 4 ways.

This is what helps me 👇:

I ground myself on stage in a neutral position—where I would spend most of my time during my talk.

Then, I pause for a few seconds and take a look at my audience with a smiling face from left to right (or from right to left).

And then ...

I take a few deep breaths from the belly—also known as diaphragmatic breathing.

These 3 simple steps help me lower the initial spike of nervousness and set me up for a great public speaking experience.

3 - Pausing to Remove Fillers

Do you feel the urge to fill the gap between two words or two sentences with ...

UH's

UMM's

SO's

ANDDD's

YOU KNOW's?

If yes, you are not alone.

Naturally, we don't make friends with that awkward silence.

We feel this intense urge to fill every single gap with a meaningless filler word.

But let me tell you this:

If you want to remove those fillers ...

Take a pause.

Make friends with that awkward silence and replace every single filler with a pause and thank me later :)

There's no other way to get rid of those fillers.

Period.

4 - Pausing for Them to Digest Your Content

Oftentimes we don't realize this, but we speak way faster than we think.

I am guilty of this too.

But that comes with a cost. Our audience does not get enough time to digest.

They might feel like they have been bombarded with a ton of information, facts, and figures in a very short time.

How do you think we can resolve this?

Yes, you've guessed it right ...

By taking a pause after every thought group.

Whenever you make a point, give your audience enough time to digest it before you move on to the next point in your presentation.

It not only helps them, but it also helps you to organize your thoughts before your next sentence.

It's a WIN-WIN.

5 - Pausing Before Answering to Their Questions

I should make this my default mode before answering a question.

And you should too.

Whenever asked a question during or after a presentation ...

take your time to digest their question.

Pause for a second.

Organize your thoughts and then answer.

Don't feel this urgency to answer them instantly.

Allow yourself some time to think and answer logically.

In most cases, no one holds a gun to our heads when they ask us a question ;)

So, relax and pause before answering.

If you don't have the exact answer, tell them that you'll do your research and get back to them.

Ask them to follow up with you on that question via email or social accounts.


BRINGING IT HOME

TL; DR

Here are the 5 good reasons why you must embrace pausing more in your public speaking.

  1. Pausing for emphasis
  2. Pausing to calm your nerves
  3. Pausing to remove fillers
  4. Pausing for them to digest your content
  5. Pausing before answering to their questions

That's a wrap.

Feedback: If you have any thoughts or any questions about this week's issue, do not hesitate to reply to this email [waqas@denverspeakup.com]. I will be happy to read and respond 😀.


THREE MORE WAYS I CAN HELP YOU

1 - 1:1 coaching - I'm now offering 1:1 coaching (limited openings) to help you overcome the crippling fear of public speaking (in under 2 months) by eliminating limiting beliefs and gain the self-confidence you always wanted.

2 - Free live webinar - I will host a Live FREE Webinar on Friday (@12:00 PM MT, 11:00 AM PST, 01:00 PM CST, 02:00 PM EST) in which you will learn three secrets to overcoming your public speaking anxiety.​

3 - Social media - I regularly share practical tips and insights on public speaking and communication skills. If you are active on Youtube, Instagram, or ​Threads, let's connect.

P.S. ​If you know someone who could benefit from this newsletter, I’d love to have them join our community of public speakers. They can subscribe here. Thanks!

Best,

Waqas, Founder & Speaking Coach

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Free Your Voice from Speaking Anxiety

The only newsletter you'll ever need to overcome the crippling fear of public speaking—It's time to free your voice from speaking anxiety and gain the self-confidence you always wanted. (Published Weekly)

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