Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Listen to the Pauses: Power Communication

Pause and Presence: For powerful communication, active understanding  or getting your message across: listen to the pauses. If you are the speaker, pay attention to when you pause, how long and what you do when you pause. Learn from speakers you find yourself drawn to by observing their pauses, what they do to retain your eyeballs. I have come up with a way to practise that is working for me: I listen and look for the pauses in my dance class. Perhaps, as every dancer knows, if you just go from one movement to another, without a proper transition - all you do is look floppy - there is no grace no beauty - no grabbing attention of viewer. Initially I used to just notice that my Zumba instructor looks great - so I went to the class. Now, with audio plus visual cues- I am able to observe when she transitions from one step into another- the split second pause that gives her balance and purpose - effortless, graceful; elbows - if meant to be 90 degrees are 90 not flopping halfway; movement alternates between fast(er) and slow(er) and so do the pauses.
I still can't do what she does, but now I can see what she does. Of course even if I knew it all in my head I couldn't do what she does - I am just not physically fit enough.
Fortunately for communication - while fitness helps greatly, it is less of a requirement. But in the absence of music and dance - Pauses and Presence are the rhythm of powerful communication.
Find any activity you enjoy (even cooking, dining) and listen to the pauses. Besides -it is so much fun -give it a try.

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