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To Really Get Them To Listen – Don’t Talk

I find it interesting that one of the most effective and powerful speaking tools is…. not speaking.”  What you talking about Willis?  I’ll tell you want I’m talking about.  When you have an important point to make, stop, pause, then deliver it.  Nothing grabs someone’s attention like hesitating, making them wait.  It’s almost like you are going to tell them a secret.  Everyone loves a secret.  Everyone wants to be in on the behind-the-scenes stuff.When used right, you will actually see people leaning in.  You’ll see that their interest has been peaked.  With a little practice, and a little flair, you will find “the pause” to be one of the most valuable tools in your vocal tool chest.

But wait; there’s more.  Another great way to really grab their attention is to whisper.  Being loud is the only way most people know how to get attention.  However, anyone who has children will tell you, loud doesn’t work.  At least, not very often; but the whisper, now that is an attention grabber.  Again, it makes people think you are telling them a secret.  A whisper is intimate, romantic and inviting.  Do you ever shout sweet nothings into your loved ones’ ear?  Not likely.  Dropping the volume of your voice also forces people to listen harder.  Isn’t that what you want; them to listen?  Of course, you won’t want to over do it.  Not only would it lose it’s impact, but it would be pretty darn annoying.  However, like the pause, it’s another way to build, if only momentarily, a little anticipation. 

Next time – some more tips on effective presentations.

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