Many people are terrified of public speaking, and this is true even if they are executives who frequently give speeches. What most people do when they are nervous and want the task at hand to finish is that they speed up when they speak. They talk faster, hoping to be able to get off the stage more quickly and to accomplish their task.
But obviously they haven’t accomplished their task if no one can understand them, and if their words don’t have the intended impact.
One of the best ways to make an impact while speaking is with a dramatic pause. It feels counter-intuitive when you’re doing it and many people feel like they have to fill the void; but don’t fill that void. Pausing in the middle of a speech offers the listeners a chance to process what you’ve been saying. And it offers you, the speaker, a chance to pause, to gather your thoughts, and to take a deep breath.
This technique should be in any great speaker’s arsenal.