Public Speaking: Clever Timing

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Clever timing in public speaking keeps the audience engaged and varies the tone and pace of the speech. Use clever timing with tips from a communication specialist in this free video on public speaking.

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Video Transcript

Use timing to help your audiences stay engaged. There are a couple ways you can do that. One is by timing things so that they're moving at a good clip. Let me give you an example of not moving at a good clip. When you're delivering your message too slowly, you do seem confident, you also seem dreadfully boring to your audience. When you deliver your content too quickly, when you're talking to fast, when your fidgeting too much, you're moving too quickly, and you're making your audience way too nervous. But, if you hit just the right stride and you're delivering your content with energy and at a good clip so that one thought follows another. One complete thought follows another. Then your audience feels engaged, understands what's going on, is ready for the next thing just as the next thing is coming up. The other way that you can use timing to keep your audience engaged is to tell the audience how long the presentation will be. I can't tell you how many times I've been in presentations that I knew started at 2 o'clock but I had no idea the end time of. And, quickly, I started to be nervous that the presentation was going to go on forever. Either I, or somebody else, invariably raised our hand and said, "Can you give us an idea about the end time of this presentation?" It's especially difficult if you don't tell the audience the end time, and you're fifteen minutes in, and your content is dense, and it's a lot to think about, it's a lot to absorb, the audience really needs to know that it's going to be over soon in order to understand that if they push themselves to stay with it a little while longer, they'll be OKay. So, especially if you've got really difficult or dense content, let the audience know where the light is at the end of the tunnel and you will keep them engaged.

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