RUSHING is junior – ‘OWNING’ time … is senior

 In Body language, Delivery, Feedback, Meetings, Networking, News, Owning space, The Winning Voice, What not to do

Last week I conducted a Delivering memorable messages programme for board members of the Sarina Community Bank. The board members impressed me as a cohesive group of executives who are committed to enhancing the lives of people in the Sarina community.

As I often do at the end of a programme, I asked the participants what was the single, most memorable idea or technique from the programme.

Here are the most memorable ideas and techniques that were nominated:

OPEN-MIDDLE-CLOSE & MESSAGE-FLESHOUT the message-REPEAT the message  (these two techniques were nominated by nearly 50% of the participants).

PAUSE (there is a concept I’ve labelled, ‘The Presenters misperception of time’. That is, when a person begins to speak, ‘time’ – from the speaker’s perspective, is perceived to travel faster than how ‘time’ is experienced from the audience’s perspective. (ie. much slower).

This means that a speaker, especially when starting to talk needs to extend pauses between his/her thought groups, in order for the audience to perceive the person as not rushing. One way to do this is to slice your first sentence(s) into chunks with silent ‘1001, 1002’ count pauses between the chunks.

For example, ‘Your career (1001, 1002) will largely be defined (1001, 1002) by how well you present (1001, 1002) in important meetings’. Initially, speaking with the (1001, 1002 count) will often seem to be abnormally slow.*

BE STRUCTURED (this concept is related to the Open-Middle-Close and Message-Fleshout the message-Repeat the message technique).


PROXIMITY – stand close to the audience. As a presenter your proximity to the audience can determine whether the audience perceives you as confident or unconfident. As a rule if you maintain a ‘close’ proximity to the audience (of course avoid being too close) you’ll be perceived as confident.

‘THINK ON YOUR FEET’ schema for tough questions

*If you are perceived as rushing when you speak, you’ll be perceived as junior. If you are perceived as taking or ‘owning’ time, you’ll be perceived as senior.

Own the Conversation

Consider one of the above techniques and reflect on how you could thread – in safe interactions – intentionally practice of the technique into your daily interactions.

For example, with the Think on your feet schema in mind, when being asked a question, preface your answer with ‘Top of mind . . . ‘

Or trial the 1001, 1002 silent pause count when you’re at a cafe, between your greeting to the server, and the stating of your meal order. That is; ‘Hey how’s it going (silent 1001, 1002) I’ll go for the reuben sandwich toasted’.

p.s. Check out this post on how to give feedback

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