In fact this article is a preparation for a next article on the same topic; one that is actually still due.
We are to absorb so much knowledge that we tend to forget what we have learned when we where still at school. Maybe you remember the time when you where asked to read out loud in front of the class.
This period is key. Not only when reading a text, but also when presenting the kind of material in front of a group of people. The technique is the same. You stop because the action has ended end you are stepping into a new area. The period is there to signal this for you as a reader, but in the presentation you are to use this as a pause to check whether your public (readers) is still with you. It serves as a turning point (or a hinge) to turn the past in to the future. The period shows what is done. Up to the next phrase or picture, unless. . .
Unless there is a problem. That is what you hope for giving a presentation (not always probably), but you would like to interact with the audience, because without feedback you cannot tell whether the story has landed safely.
If nobody argues, then you can continue. The pause should also give you confidence knowing that what you are presenting is relevant and valuable and maybe passed to your audience.
Before we knew how to read properly, we forgot to wait for the traffic lights; we skipped the full stop and headed to the next sentence. But once we were confident in reading out loud we stopped, waiting for the next action.
We tend to forget these simple things from the past. Or maybe, when we forget to use a pause in the presentation, we are not confident enough.
Perhaps that is the first step before presenting the material – to gain faith in what we will offer.
© 2006 Hans Bool
PS: The article that is still due is part two of – Models that color your presentation. This has been quite a while. This brings me “lessons learnt" – do not pause too long.
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management advice. Astor Online solves issues in hours what normally would take days.
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