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  • Greg Cieply

Imprompt-Who? Pausing is the Best Practice

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Continued from Part II

You can probably recall a time in school when you weren’t paying attention and your teacher called on you to answer a question in front of the entire class—putting you in a live compromised position. How did you feel?


Instead of running, fighting, or freezing in place, one of the best practices to improve those awkward moments is to simply pause. Take a breath, swallow, and acknowledge the fact that something has altered your physical state. Accept that this happens to everyone and not just you.


People often beat themselves up over these circumstances, creating a negative feedback loop. Over time, this practice creates a sense of never being able to perform when called on.

Now think about the opposite situation that you faced. Imagine while studying, you came across a particular fact or verse from the homework that just stuck with you for no reason. When the teacher asked the class a question about that particular fact and no one raised their hand, you knew that you needed to respond. Without fear, you put your hand up and answered.


That is what happens when you’re prepared!


Even then, you most likely had to pause. Because if you’re an introvert, just raising your hand in front of a group might cause an adrenaline rush. But since you knew the answer, you had the courage and fortitude to share the answer.


Taking a pause is the first technique in the impromptu tool kit. It’s a sign of contemplation and is often seen by others as intelligence. After all, most smart people deliberately pause before they speak to formulate their thoughts in a positive and beneficial manner for those listening. Like Molly, we can arm ourselves with a pause at the right moment to draw from our past experiences and prepared information.


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