It’s difficult for us shorter people to gain the respect needed by others. Our stature gives us the inability to truly command an audience the way we’d hope to do. But what if I told you that there was a way to command the attention of the audience?
Throughout history there have been many people who have commanded the attention of others in spite of their disadvantages. Real quickly, let’s take for instance Napoleon, who never allowed this height to get in the way of commanding this troops. I hate to use this example, but even Hitler was able to command a crowd. Lastly, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a pioneer in women’s rights. All of these powerful figures had one thing in common:
They utilized the power of SILENCE.
Also known as the Power Pause or you can call it strategic silence. Essentially what you do is remain quiet as you’re about to begin your speech or address something to the audience. This silence demands attention, it demands respect and shows the audience who is truly worth listening to at this very moment.
The longer you remain standing in silence, the more attention you seem to gain from everyone. It’s almost as if you’re allowing the audience to settle in on what you have to say to them. You aren’t catching the crowd off guard by immediately speaking.
Stand, stare at the people in your audience, and make sure each one of them realizes how amazing your speech is about to be.
They will be eager and ready for the best moment of their entire lives (just kidding not really, well maybe).
I’ve tried this before in a speech I’ve done with high school students and parents. It was awkward to say the least. I really just wanted to keep talking as I was going up there but I knew that being a short guy, people are already pre-judging me and my speech.
So after taking into account the fact that silence is probably my best option here, I did just that and put my laptop on the podium, adjusted the mic, played around with the screen for absolutely no reason at all, and all of that probably took about 10 seconds total, which of course you can guess, felt like 10 minutes.
The speech went off and I was on a roll. It was a great speech, even to my own standards at the time. I was proud I made it and glad I was able to help the students before they went off to college.
Power Pause everyone, try it out sometime – could work for anyone.