Rae Stonehouse

Rae Stonehouse

This question seems to have originally been asked as "are stops and pauses necessary while public speaking?"

No, I don’t believe stops and pauses are necessary while public speaking however, if you want to become an effective public speaker and improve your messages there is value in adding pauses.

Over the past 25 years or so I have likely attended more than 2000 Toastmasters events at all levels of the organization.

Did it help? Most certainly! I started off as a very shy introvert and in little more than a decade or so I had my own master of ceremonies business. When I joined, I certainly never saw that in my future.

It depends.

It depends on the type of presentation you’re delivering and the purpose of the presentation.

For example, if you’re delivering a canned sales pitch, that is one where you have a prewritten script with the expectation you follow it word for word, and questions arose, you may want to defer to the end of your presentation to answer those questions.

I will start off by taking you a step backwards. Should you have answered a question in the first place? Did it add to the content you’re sharing or did it take you away from your message?

I see it as being neither.

If anything, to me it is indicative of a speaker who lacks the intestinal fortitude to stand behind what they said in the first place.

While some of my speeches may seem effortless to new speakers, there really is a lot of effort put into the presentation behind-the-scenes.

The most obvious factor you’d expect to hear to make your presentation appear effortless would be to practice, practice, and practice more.

I believe this question this question really asking “how do I speak in front of more than 3 people?”

There are many aspects to becoming an effective public speaker. One of them of course, is having the courage to speak to a group of people.

It won’t be the end of the world if you do, But, it serves no purpose to reveal to the audience that you are nervous.

Telling your audience you are nervous is self-serving. You would be doing it to presumably reduce your anxiety. It probably won’t!

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. I currently have multiple ideal audiences.

As a Toastmasters member for over 26 years, my fellow Toastmasters are an ideal audience for me in that they provide me an audience to practice with as well as provide constructive feedback on my presentation skills.

Having been a member of Toastmasters for over 26 years, I have delivered 18 icebreakers.

My very first icebreaker was the most memorable. It took me over 10 months to work up the nerve to deliver my speech.

I don’t recall the reaction of the audience, but I do recall the advice given from one member of the audience.

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