3 Reasons Why Pausing Saves Time

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December 11, 2012
Hang Up the Email & Pick Up the Phone
April 15, 2014

bigstock-Pause-D-Button-8446993-300x300An influence skill I am continually coaching our clients on is how to use the pause. In an attempt to explain why they don’t pause, clients frequently use this excuse, “If I pause, it will take me too long to get to the point.”

The opposite is true. Pausing saves time and allows you to communicate more with less. When you use non-words and fillers, your sentences become paragraphs, which wastes time for you and your listener. When you give yourself permission to pause in-between your sentences, thoughts and ideas:

1. Your sentences are shorter, more concise and to the point.
2. You are able to think on your feet and find the words that resonate with your listeners to meet their objectives.
3. You use fewer words by replacing your non-words and fillers with a pause.

Make a Commitment
If you are in denial – “I don’t speak with non-words or fillers when I know my topic or when I have time to prepare” – do yourself a favor by listening to yourself through the ears of your listeners.

  • Five times this week, audiotape your conversations. When you are on the phone at work or at home, press “record” on your iPhone or iPad. Immediately listen to your playback, paying attention to:
    o How you sounded rather than how you felt during the conversation;
    o What non-words or fillers you used;
    o Whether you paused. (If so, are they too long or too short?);
    o Whether you sounded confident, knowledgeable or trustworthy (or insert your adjective).
  • Twice a day for one week, ask someone whom you trust will give you honest feedback, “Every time I say ‘um,’ ‘uh,’ and, ‘so’ (insert your non-word or filler) or when I’m not pausing, would you please tell me?” You will quickly begin to hear the unnecessary words before you speak them.

Pausing = Knowledge
When you place pauses in-between your sentences, key points and ideas, your listeners will perceive you as knowledgeable. Without pauses, your listeners begin to question you, your message and whether or not they feel confident to act on what you are recommending. As a result, you minimize the level of influence you have.

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