Has anyone ever told you to slow down when you speak? Has anyone every told you to pause more? Have I ever told you to “Breathe Life into the Experience” by “fully embracing both the words and the silences between them?” (aka … pause)
If I haven’t told you before, I will now. (And, if I have told you before, you’re probably breathing a deep, nourishing, grounding breath in appreciation of the reminder.) Here it comes (I’m on a heart-passion roll now … )
Pausing is one of the most powerful things we can do when we speak. I’ve been singing the praises of the pause and embracing the silence for years now. So much so that I’m now seeing people I’ve worked with sharing the power of the pause. Hooray! Word is spreading. This is catching on! It’s rippling out into the universe … WooHoo!!!
The pause makes our message more clear.
(It’s during the pause that the audience gets a chance to digest what we’re saying.)
When people ask us to “slow down” it’s often more a matter of integrating these moments of silence. Think of a song … regardless of the tempo of the song, the space is as important as the notes.
How about art? … In visual art, it’s the white space that reveals the image.
The same is true in speaking – the silence and the words dance together to create a meaningful impact. What’s important isn’t how slow or fast you talk. What’s most important is that you are pausing to allow your audience to process.
The pause helps us to do another one of the most powerful things we can do when we speak …
(that breathing fits so nicely into the silence, doesn’t it?)
Okay, to recap, during the pause, we breathe and they digest.
Another amazing thing about the pause … during the silence we get inspired – Literally and figuratively! Inspire is my favorite word in the English language because of this double meaning. I’ve seen it with clients again and again and again … They’ll say “I can’t think straight,” “My brain gets foggy,” or “My mouth is moving and words are coming out, but I don’t feel like I’m truly present, in control of the experience or sending the message I actually want to send.”
The solution to all of these? Yep. You guessed it. PAUSE. Inhale. Inspire.
When these clients begin to take the moments of silence, all of a sudden they can think. The fog lifts. They feel like they are saying what they want to say in the way they want to say it.
Yes, the pause makes our message more clear. It even allows us to feel and convey confidence.
But, the real power of the pause is about being comfortable in the silence.
Quite often, when we’re not pausing, we’re secretly chasing desperately after the approval of the audience.
The first phase we reach (after resistance) is to become comfortable in that silence. For most people, the first forays into sitting in silence are anything but comfortable. Our soul suckers come out in force wanting us to DO SOMETHING FOR GOODNESS SAKE. Our soul suckers believe our value lies only in what we do.
Our value is in our presence. Who we are. As we start to trust that silence, we also begin to trust the power of our own presence. We remember that we are human beings, not human doings. We come home to ourselves.
After we become comfortable, then we can become masters of silence. As we master the pause, we’re able to be seen and heard and felt and to serve others. It’s a delicious experience and an amazing transformation. Witnessing that is one of my favorite parts about what I do.
Next time you have to speak, take a moment, a full breath, before you utter your first word. Nervous to try this alone? Come to one of my speaking mastery labs and try it out with me. I’d love to witness and hold space for you.
With passion & love,
PS – Remember to use code SUMMER2019 on the labs to save big time!