Articles tagged: pause

When you think about charisma, who do you think about? Bill Clinton? Martin Luther King Jr.? Steve Jobs?

What about you? Do you have charisma?

Many speakers and non-speakers hold the belief that charisma is an innate gift — either you are born with it, or you aren’t.

But can you learn charisma? Recent research suggests that you can!

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Effective use of speech pauses is a master technique.

If you do it right, nobody is conscious of your pauses, but your ideas are communicated more persuasively.

If you do it wrong, your credibility is weakened, and your audience struggles to comprehend your message.

In this article, we examine:

  • benefits of effective speech pauses;
  • techniques for using pauses naturally (there are more than you think); and
  • communications research which provides clues to why pauses help us communicate effectively.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Filler words — including um and uh — are never written into a speech, and add nothing when a speaker utters them.

Yet these insidious verbal hiccups are ubiquitous, uttered by most speakers in most speeches every day.

Robin Hutchins writes:

I teach a college speech class. The most common struggle my students have is the use of filler words such as um and uh. Do you have a strategy that helps to omit filler words?

What can be done? Is it hopeless?

In this article, we examine why filler words have a negative impact on your effectiveness, and learn a five-step strategy for reducing them.

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Have you ever thought about the relationship between time and public speaking?

On the surface, you engage your audience second by second, stringing together words into sentences that, over the duration of your presentation, may last minutes or perhaps hours.

Yet, the impact of your speaking experiences may last days, weeks, months, or even years — for you and for those in your audiences.

In this article, we examine time scales ranging from a tenth of a second to hundreds of years, and consider how each of these scales is relevant to you as a speaker.

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One of my favorite TED Talks is that by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. In her talk, Gilbert speaks about the fears and frustrations of those who pursue a creative life, especially during those moments of angst when the creative juices are not flowing, and offers some advice and encouragement.

It is a touching performance. Even though I have seen it numerous times – I use it as part of one of the courses that I teach on public speaking – I never tire of it. Although there is room for improvement, the positive aspects of Gilbert’s talk make it moving and memorable.

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

I encourage you to:

  1. Watch the video;
  2. Read the analysis in this speech critique; and
  3. Share your thoughts on this presentation in the comment section.

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Everyone breathes. It’s one of the most natural things we do.

However, if you ask singers to name the most important part of vocal technique, 9 out of 10 will say “breathing.”

So, is there some special way to breathe that makes your voice better?  Yes!

In this article, we explore breathing as it relates to vocal variety as a speaker. I’ll provide you an easy to follow technique, as well as tips to improve your voice through better use of air.

The results of applying these tips will be more Power, better Pacing, more interesting Pitch and more effective Pauses in your speaking.

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Does your voice put your audience to sleep? Does it put you to sleep?

Do you find it hard to convey emotions with your voice?

Are you easy to listen to, or does your voice let you down?

The sixth Toastmasters speech project guides you to harness the power of your own voice. This article of the Toastmasters Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips and techniques, and links to numerous sample speeches.

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No other two letter word says so much when a speaker says so little.

Except perhaps ah or uh or so.

Are filler words the most sensational speaking sin you can commit? Or do they make you imperfectly human and help you connect with your audience?

The topic has created quite a buzz in public speaking blogs recently, so read on to find out what the experts are saying.

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Your speech preparation is going well. You started with your core message, wrapped it in a speech outline, extracted your first draft, edited your speech, and added impact with rhetorical devices. You’re ready to deliver, right?

Wrong. You only have words on paper, and your audience doesn’t want to read your speech.

Your audience wants to see and hear your presentation. You will dazzle them by complementing your speech with staging, gestures, and vocal variety.

This article shows you how.

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A strong speech opening is critical to grab the attention of your audience.

Suppose you were delivering a speech to raise awareness in your community about school security. How would you open your speech?

  • I’m going to talk to you today about security in our schools…
  • School security is an important issue that we must deal with…

Both openings are direct, to-the-point, and boring! What if there was a better way?

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Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln came to me as a great Christmas gift — a stocking stuffer which will improve my speaking skills considerably.

I was skeptical at first. I guessed that this was another stuffy book filled with speeches and anecdotes from famous speakers who lived so long ago that their speeches are part of history and their anecdotes are no longer relevant. That’s what I thought as I opened the book.

What I discovered is not really a “book full of speeches and anecdotes” (although there are many, many speech excerpts and anecdotes). Rather, I discovered a practical book of speaking techniques that will bolster the repertoire of any speaker who aims to lead.

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