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  • George Torok, speech coach, presentation skills training
    Presentation skills training for managers and sales professionals
    Presentation skills training, executive speech coaching, communication skills training from the  Speech Coach for Executives, George Torok
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    Communication Principles

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    Master the pause -- it will make you a master

    The hardest thing is to know oneself. Similarly the most difficult communication skill is silence.
    "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause."
    Mark Twain
    US humorist, short story author & wit (1835-1910)
    The two are related. Both require incredible self-discipline and self-confidence. To know oneself you need to ask some difficult questions and tolerate the discomfort of uncertainty. To master the pause you must become comfortable with both silence and uncertainty.

    Why is mastery of silence such a powerful communication tool?
    Because most cannot stand the vacuum of silence.

    In the case of a negotiation the one who speaks less usually wins. The one who talks more tends to give away more information and more concessions. The lesson: once you've stated your position - shut up.

    In presenting, your audience will listen better if you include more pauses in your presentation.

    For example, pause just before you state something important - that builds anticipation. And pause right after you stated something important - that allows them to digest the point. And the two pauses punch up the words between.

    As the speaker you should know that your listeners can either listen or think - but not both well at the same time. So when you want them to think - shut up.

    To show more confidence - pause more. Why? Because those who talk nonstop sound nervous. It is as if they don't want anyone else to challenge them.

    To demonstrate real control and self-confidence pause before you start your presentation. After you have been introduced, move to center stage, plant your feet then smile while looking at the audience for at least three seconds while saying nothing. It is only three seconds and it might feel like eons for you. But it will have a magical effect on the audience. They will stop fidgeting, focus on you and be waiting for the first word out of your mouth. While you might feel uncomfortable during those three seconds, the audience will be marveling at your self-confidence and composure.

    "The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes--ah, that is where the art resides!"
    Arthur Schnabel, in Chicago Daily News, June 11 1958
    Austrian composer & pianist (1882 - 1951)
    Say less. Pause more. Be more powerful!
    © George Torok delivers powerful presentations. He is the Speech Coach for Executives. He can help you convey your message with more power. When you do that, you get more of what you want from others. Register for your free monthly Presentation tips at www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com. To arrange a speech or coaching session call 905-335-1997.

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