PUBLIC SPEAKING TIP Practice the Pause

Stop saying “Um,” or “Ah,” during speeches with this one simple tip:

The next time you have a speech to give, try taking a pause between thoughts.

In doing so, you allow your message to sink in.

Giving yourself and the audience a much needed break.

Allowing time for everyone to digest the information.

Ultimately replacing “ums” and “ahs” with breathing space.

Try the pause and let me know what you think! 🎙 🍃

Watch Video: Practice the Pause

40 thoughts on “PUBLIC SPEAKING TIP Practice the Pause

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  1. Public speaking fired my fight or flight mechanism, my voice would change, cortisol would freeze my thoughts.

    My childhood abuse, constant criticism manifested in a fear of public speaking.

    Having healed public speaking still poses a problem

    Somehow I am fine running a mindfulness group open to the public

    The mind and trauma are strange bedfellows

    1. Thank you for sharing Marty.

      Insightful explanations, once again, into the mind and trauma relationship.
      Being an expert in mindfulness definitely helps your ability to lead support groups so well!

      As I share with my students, start where you are – and let everything flow from there.
      Which is why their first speaking assignment is to share their #1 are of expertise – themselves!

      Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

  2. Right on Dr. D. Something I struggle with but I am taking your sound advice especially in conversations with friends and family. Hopefully a family member
    of yours and mine will watch this great video. ❤️Dr. Di (aka) mom.

    1. Hello Dr. Di!

      How lucky am I that I have you, my Mom, as both as a mentor psychologist and a role model! And you are so right: Breathing space is essential in all areas of communication – especially conversation. And btw: you are one of my favourite students. (And you are one of my favourite teachers). When the teacher and students switch roles often like us, creative magic happens!

      Lots of Love
      Dr. D xo

  3. Saying umm or ahhh I feel that is the worst thing to do when giving a speech 😑😑 In my opinion the best person to ever deliver speeches was Dr Martin Luther King Jr. I dont ever remember listening to one of his speeches and he uttered the words umm or ahhhhhh. He was always prepared.

    1. Agreed!

      Preparation is EVERYTHING


      Preparation and Reading the Audience = Connection + Engagement


      I practiced my TEDx Talk 200 times (no exaggeration) before I gave my speech.

      I gave it to grocery clerks, coffee baristas, the postman, the gym owner, everyone and everyone!

      Have you seen my TEDx yet?

      1. No, not really. I was a child actor. So I had to overcome this fear early in life. I love public speaking. Have an unfair advantage.

        I always tried to ease my friends and co-workers fears.

        Please, call me Drew. Always loved that name.

        While I have your attention, my post yesterday was about Inspiring Women of WordPress.
        I have a large female following and dozens of women who are to shy or fri g.j themed to comment on my blog.
        Some of these women come from abusive relationship and worse. I was hoping to highlight strong women such as you to help the frightened find role models and make new positive thinking friends.

        I was hoping you would give me permission to mention you and your blog on one of my posts.
        Let me know if it is okay. Thanks.

        Have a great weekend.

        1. I would be absolutely honoured to be included in your post Drew. Honoured 🙏🙏

          And thank you for sharing some more of your early history. I find people so absolutely fascinating.

          Have a wonderful weekend too!
          Andrea 😊

  4. I will take this advice into my next speaking engagement. I don’t actually know if I say uhm or ah. But if i did, I will stop and see it as an opportunity to connect with the listeners by giving them time to digest and me time to download.

          1. Uhm ah. Maybe not. LOL. Interestingly, I heard a talk from a man yesterday and he did those pauses where an uhm or ah could have easily gone. I would not have realized what he was doing if you hadn’t shared your post. It is very effective. I will definitely employ it consciously now.

  5. I have found that taking off my glasses – and turning the roomful of people into blurry images – can lessen public speaking anxiety. Which, in turn, makes it easier to avoid the “ums” as well as obvious physical reactions such as face flushing, etc. in speaking to a group. It has helped my freezing-up reaction quite a bit as well.

    1. I love that you are a public speaking teacher! My favourite class (my husband’s too) in university was public speaking. A critical, teachable life skill that is too often ignored. Happy p a u s i n g Mitch! 🎙 🍃

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