In working with and watching speakers, I have the privilege and opportunity to observe and interact with many folks who do not speak English as their native language. While I invaribly am envious of their beautiful accents, there can often be misunderstandings, and the most effective element of speaking transcends language — THE PAUSE. One speaker I observed had a fantastic story going, but garbled the punchline word (and didn’t repeat it until a few minutes later) such that the audience spent several paragraphs trying to figure out what he was talking about. I’m sure he was wondering why they weren’t laughing at his very good humor (he was funny!), but they just simply weren’t with him. Once they caught up, he finished great and got a well-deserved positive response.

Wait for your audience and keep them with you, especially if you have any challenges in the area of speech.

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