PBS: It’s Not What You May Think!
Have you ever zipped along on a high-speed "bullet" train - perhaps the Shinkansen in Japan or the TGV in France? If so, you know that at 200 - 300+ miles per hour the scenery passes by in a blur.
Now, high-speed travel is one thing but high-speed presenting is quite another. Under pressure, many people use a rapid-fire speech pattern that leaves listeners confused and overwhelmed. Words go by in a blur, limiting their ability to fully sink in.
What if you have a tendency to talk too fast or in choppy, hesitant phrases? To speak with more resonance, variety, warmth and vitality, try P.B.S. or Pause ~ Breathe ~ Speak
WHEN – During a presentation, of course, but also in everyday situations such as meetings, phone calls, WebEx and one-on-ones.
TIP – Take a deep breath before entering a meeting room, standing up to speak or starting to dial the phone. Let yourself relax, focus and think.
What to DO & HOW to DO IT
Stop at the ends of sentences/phrases
Look people in the eye
Let your material be absorbed
If seated, lean back and settle down
If standing, take a second or two to unwind
Draw air deep into the diaphragm* and exhale completely
Speak confidently and succinctly
Avoid filler words, slurring or mumbling
Like any new skill, P.B.S. takes a bit of concentration and practice to master. It's important,
however, because your voice can either convey confidence and authority or fear, impatience,
hesitation and tension. To develop a more resonant, interesting voice listen to your own voice mail
messages, stick a reminder on your laptop or enlist a trusted colleague to tell you to s.l.o.w. d.o.w.n.
I guarantee you will feel better while presenting. By using this skill your opinions, insights,
recommendations and instructions will stand a much better chance of being heard and acted on,
instead of passing by in a blur.
* The Harvard Medical School Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure. Aggie Casey, R.N. and Herbert Benson,
M.D. McGraw-Hill. 2006 (See section on "The Relaxation Response: Diaphragmatic Breathing”).