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Free Speech Lesson

Breath Pauses

Breath Pauses



One of my favorite strategies is to mark breath pauses in your narrative for a presentation.  Many people, especially nonnative speakers of English, polish their presentation by writing it out their script or narrative.  Many people forget to include pauses.  Listeners need the pauses to process what you are saying.

  • Marking your copy for breath pauses will make it easier to avoid inappropriate pauses and especially to remind yourself to do pauses.
  • Use a double slash mark to indicate a pause with fairly deep inhalation.
  • The single slash marks mean a quick intake of air or a pause with no breath intake.
  • Most double slash marks are found at periods, and single slashes are a commas, ellipses, dashes or to distinguish meaning.

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