Pause for effect
How often do you Pause? As a speaker I spend a great deal of time working out the words I should use to get my message across in a meaningful way. I have to convince my audience to understand and accept my point of view and to entertain them while I am doing it.
I have discovered, however, that silence can be as powerful as words sometimes and I practice the pauses in my presentations in the same way I practice my words and tone.
There are a few occasions where silence is truly golden;
- When you want the audience to read the words on the screen.
- When you want to make an impact with the next word.
- When you have made the audience laugh and you are waiting for them to finish.
- When you have delivered a stunning line and you want them to absorb it.
- When there are questions being asked or when you have given them a task to complete.
- When a video or audio is playing and you want them to concentrate.
- When you just want to make an impact.
The most memorable speeches are often littered with silent gaps yet the audience are spellbound. Try practicing the pauses in your speech as well as the words.