You must have heard the expression that ‘something beats nothing’. Here’s the thing: in public speaking, it is a little different. Nothing does beat something some of the time. What does that mean? I am talking about the pause.
Nervous and uncomfortable speakers talk without the pause, trying to get done with their burden of speaking as soon as they can so they can escape and avoid anyone noticing any of their mistakes. Great speakers do not do that. They pause to let people think about what has just been said. They pause to let them answer a rhetorical question in their heads. They pause to underline what they just said. Or they pause to enter a transition as they move on from one thought to the other.
Pausing is the grammar of speaking. If you were to write a cover letter with no spaces or periods between words and sentences, the reader could probably figure it out but he or she would not want to as it is too much unnecessary work. Just as commas, paragraph breaks, and periods act as pauses in writing, speaking also needs pauses as they communicate with the listener.
That is why rehearsing and practice is necessary. Without practice, you become monotonous and boring. Listening to someone who does not pause is getting tapped repeatedly on the shoulder which eventually becomes annoying and hurtful.
So make it a habit of giving meaningful pauses on strategic points and you will be seen as a compelling speaker.