The Importance of Pacing During Public Speaking

Earlier this week I put up CPGrey’s video about caffeine. It wasn’t until after I put up the video that I realized, “You know, the speed at which he talks is impressive. We understand what he says, he puts in the necessary changes in tone, it’s funny, etc. etc. But not all of us can keep up with it nor can we emulate it when we’re up on stage.”

In fact, when I’m up in front of people, I find that I try to emulate it but I fail miserably. It just comes out as hurried and it isn’t nearly as entertaining. It just means that I’m nervous. Yes, public speaking makes me nervous. It will always make me nervous though. The key is to learn from my mistakes and use my anxiety to help me prepare for my speech.

So I don’t want to frustrate you with that last video. That’s why I wanted to take some time today to talk about pacing. When it comes to pacing, there are a handful of very important rules to remember

#1) Allow yourself to take pauses in between sentences, sections, and to let you (and the audience) catch up with your brain.

Yes, take a pause...

Yes, take a pause…

#2) There is a happy medium between molasses and that commercial guy reading the fine print in erectile dysfunction medication.

#3) Don’t be afraid to slow down if you forget something. Take a pause and reiterate your last sentence.

#4) Don’t rush through everything. You want to sound like you normally do when you talk with a friend. That means pauses, changes in tone, sometimes fast, and sometimes slow.

#5) Rehearsing really does help. In fact, rehearse in front of a camera. After you’re done, watch it and analyze it.

Pacing is as important in a speech about last week’s numbers and a well-written joke. If you don’t pace it just right, it could lose its effect and you could end up losing your audience.

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About the Author

Thom McFadden, known as Hollywood’s “Coach to the Stars”, has been helping actors, writers, producers, directors and hundreds of other entertainment industry professionals to achieve new levels of success for over twenty years through his personal coaching and life-changing seminars and courses. Thom has been featured in 26 mainstream movies and over 100 television shows over his illustrious career.