Did you know there is science behind speaking slowly? Researchers from the University of Michigan analyzed the phone calls of telemarketers and found that people who paused frequently during their pitch were more persuasive than callers who spoke uninterrupted. The researchers say people typically pause about five times a minute. This speech pattern sounds more believable to listeners than when you spit out words without any breaks.
Nighat Dad’s speech above is a good example of the power of pausing. She gives a passionate, intelligent speech, with a very powerful premise. But occasionally she rushes, and when she does, her words come out in a nervous jumble, and she has trouble with syntax and grammar. Her speech is markedly better when she pauses at the end of each thought.
What do you think? Does pausing work for you?
I LOVE this acceptance speech. And a big part of what makes Sam Rockwell’s acceptance of the 2018 Best Supporting Actor Award so excellent is the attention getter he gives at the top. What makes it so great? Here’s my thoughts:
- It includes a touching personal story about his parents! – Stories are your STRONGEST weapon against audience boredom, y’all.
- It’s not only a story, but, also, a short joke, with a great punchline – notice the way that Mr Rockwell sets up his story to be solemn, and then takes us in a surprising direction. Jokes are GREAT icebreakers. A great joke needs to be BRIEF and have the ELEMENT OF SUPRISE. Mr Rockwell’s joke has both.
- His icebreaker is appropriate for the occasion – it’s about going to the movies with his parents, and he uses the story as a way of demonstrating both his love of movies and his appreciation of his parents.