Have you ever watched a world class athlete or performer, singer, actor, and thought, “Wow, they make it look so easy?”

There’s an obvious reason they’re able to do this. They’ve prepared and rehearsed over and over again. But there’s one specific impact of the rehearsal that makes it look easy.

It’s called muscle memory. Watch a golfer swing a golf club, a basketball player shoot a jump shot, or a baseball player swing a bat. They’ve practiced so many times they don’t have to think about the movements. They just do it.

They’ve done it so often it’s second nature to them.

How Can This Help You As A Presenter? 

There’s one particular aspect of speech delivery that is critical if you want to leave an impact. It’s your use of silence.

It’s been said, “The sale comes in the silence.”

When you make a point, or you ask a question, it’s not what you say that impacts your listener.

It’s that time after you make your point or ask a question. That’s when they consider the implications to their lives of what you’ve said.

If we don’t give them that time, we don’t have impact.

For most people, this is the hardest part of speech delivery. They struggle to be comfortable in the silence.

How Can You Develop Muscle Memory For Silence?

I and my clients practice pauses that are longer than we use in real speaking situations. Here’s an example:

In my presentations about storytelling, I make the point that after I learned how to effectively tell stories, I tripled the the number of prospective clients I attracted to my business.

I then ask the audience, “How much would you benefit if you could triple the number of prospective clients you talk to every week?

I then pause for many seconds.

I don’t immediately jump right in.

What most people do is ask the question, pause to take a breath, and then rush through to their next point. That’s a huge mistake. Their listeners don’t have time to feel the implications of the question.

They need silence.

How Can You Get Comfortable In The Silence?

I’m able to do this because I was taught to practice in a specific manner.

Some coaches suggest you should count off in your head:

One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand.

Others suggest counting heartbeats.

I don’t like either of those because they get you stuck in your head. You’re thinking about what you’re going to say next and not on the reactions of your listeners.

The key is to stretch your silence longer than you will use when speaking to audiences. 7- to 10-seconds has worked best for me.

I know what you may be thinking: “7- to 10-seconds! Are you out of your mind? I can never do that! It’s an eternity.”

It’s a valid response. It’s what I told the person who recommended I do it.

Why that long? You’re never going to pause that long in front of people, are you?

The reason to practice longer than you’ll actually use is that when you speak to a “live” audience, your adrenaline is pumping, your heart is beating faster and you’re likely to speak faster. In this state, silence feels longer to you than it is.

You may feel as if you’re being silent for several seconds when it’s only a split-second.

Long rehearsal times are meant to make you feel comfortable with silence. Being OK with standing in front of others, not saying a word, and seeing them look back at you.

With practice you’ll develop a feel for audience reactions to your questions and statements. You’ll know when to move to the next part of your presentation.

The Ultimate Benefit To Silence

When you master this skill, your focus is totally on the audience. You’ll be able to read their eyes, their faces and their body language to know when they’ve been impacted by your message.

That’s the power of practicing and developing muscle memory.

Master this delivery skill and and watch your impact and influence grow with every presentation you give.



Gain Clear Insights Into The Impact Of The Silence In Your Presentations 

How would you like to quickly identify your use of silence having to speak to an audience?

Presentation improvement is dependent on quality feedback. It’s not always easy to find people to offer that when it’s convenient for your schedule.

Wouldn’t it be great to have access to presentation feedback WHENEVER you want?

Now you can.

Speaking CPR’s new speech diagnosis tool gives you specific and measurable feedback. It shows you your strengths and areas where you need improvement. One feature is to show you which parts of your speech where you effectively use silence.

With the push of one button and a computer camera, you can receive INSTANT evaluations. You’ll  speed up your speaking growth and leave greater impact with more people.

To discover how this tool can provide value to you, schedule a brief, complimentary ZOOM call. Click here: https://calendly.com/speaker017/20-minute-call

How One World Class Athletic Skill Can Help You Speak With More Impact ultima modifica: 2023-02-06T12:14:22-05:00 da Michael Davis