Make use of silence
. Some people feel like silence is a sign of weakness, and want to fill any gaps by talking. Prattling on, however, is more likely to be taken as a lack of seriousness or certainty. Taking time to think through what you want to say, and using pauses and silence for effect while speaking, helps to bestow authority to your speech.
- Always think through what you want to say before speaking. Even when you’re “on the spot,” take a couple seconds to gather your thoughts before you begin. That small period of silence will demonstrate that you are serious about addressing the topic at hand and saying exactly what you mean.
- Practice getting rid of “fillers” like “um,” “uh,” “I think,” etc. Even if you aren’t using them because you’re uncertain of what you want to say, they tend to sound that way. A silent pause is preferable.
- Use “chunking” while speaking — pause for effect between bursts of speech that each emphasize a key point. Give people a chance to soak in what you are saying.