Mayla Clark Training
Mayla Clark Training
Communication That Gets Results

Articles Written by Mayla Clark

Specific tips and techniques for becoming a more effective communicator, leader, presenter and meeting participant.

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


  • Enunciate clearly

  • 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”).

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