All the popular public speakers use silence as a tool in their speeches. When you start using pauses and silence while delivering a speech, it will keep the audience engaged. Pauses at the right places and in adequate amounts while delivering a speech can leave a long-lasting impact on the audience’s mind.
As a communicator, two of the most important things you should understand are what you are saying and how you deliver the content. Alongside these two, you should use the most potent tool, pause when you give a keynote speech and in case of a presentation in the corporate world. If you need to learn how to deliver an impactful speech, you should learn how to create a name for yourself as a public speaker or a good presenter. You can take help from an online English communication course to improve your communication skills.
Power of Pauses
Let’s keep the practical aspects of pausing in public speeches aside for a moment. First, we need to understand the relationship between sound and silence. Taking dramatic pauses before saying something impactful will make your audience’s anticipation go through the roof. The sheer power that pauses possess is unmatched by any other tool in communication. Silence can make your speech inspiring. We all are familiar with the idiom ‘The calm before the storm’; well, pauses in a speech are precisely that. When you go silent momentarily amidst the address, it makes the audience believe something interesting is about to happen.
By throwing it in the same demeanour, you should not let the most impactful part of your point go in vain. Besides that, you should also stop making noises like ‘uh,’ and ‘um’ between the lines. Instead of using such expressions, take a silent break to create more anticipation and drama. Let’s talk about the immense power that pauses can generate.
As we are discussing pauses, you may think it is easy to do. In reality, it is not. You need to harness this skill with a lot of practice. Only then will you be able to understand the right time to pause. When you receive training in English corporate training, there you will come to know about this timing.
Commitment is the key in this case. It would be best if you predetermined when you pause in your speech. It should remain a conscious decision. If you try to take the call in the middle of the speech, it will not work. Alongside that, the chances of you forgetting what to say increase. To make the situation worse, your rhythm may also get broken.
When you know precisely where you need to pause in a sentence, you will find it easier to construct the entire conversation that you will be having with the spectators.
Taking control of the situation and getting hold of the audience are integral aspects of delivering a great speech. An ideal pause will help you to have firm control over the speech.
Throughout the speech, you need to remain cool as a cucumber. Pausing in the middle of the address can help you to relax. When you feel relaxed, the conversation you will have will become more meaningful.
Why Pauses Work in Your Favour?
Studies say that an average person can speak roughly 150 words per minute. In the meantime, a person thinks four times more than they say. When you try to gather all these thoughts in one place, what happens is that you start to speak faster. In the process, your sentences become unnecessarily large and poorly constructed. Thus the audience needs help understanding. All the listeners will start losing track, leading to them needing to be more accurate and understand the message you are trying to deliver.
Now as you know the power of pauses and, most importantly, the impact of silence, it is time to talk about how breaks work.
Slow down and take ample pauses whenever you get to the core of your speech. This pause will give the audience much-needed time to process the information you are trying to convey. Moreover, they will also be able to digest the entirety of your message after understanding it.
Not all of us are great speakers. Fear of the stage is quite common, and not all of us can deliver an impactful speech in front of a large audience. Taking a pause will help you to gather all the thoughts in your head. Once you do that, all your fear will automatically go away. It would be best if you formed the habit of pausing in the middle of the public speech.
Communicating with the audience is necessary to deliver a profoundly impactful speech. To do that, you need to understand how the people listening to you are feeling while listening to you. Once you know your audience’s feelings, it will become easier for you to convey the message.
You need to take the help of the filler words once you learn how to use the pauses in the middle of two sentences. Not using fillers will make your sound more confident and clear.
There are also multiple variations of pauses. Short pauses usually last for .15 seconds; mediums will not last more than 0.5 seconds, whereas you can take a long pause for a maximum of 1.5 seconds. While reading a text, you should only use short and medium delays. You can use medium and even long pauses if you deliver a speech, whether it is impromptu or spontaneous. You can learn how to use pauses in your favour while delivering a speech in detail by enrolling in a personality development course online.
Where Can You Pause in Your Speech?
Now the question comes down to this: ‘where in the sentence can you use pauses?’ The best way to understand where to pause while reading a text is to follow the punctuation marks such as commas and full stops. Wherever you see a punctuation mark, you pause depending on the punctuation mark in the text. For a comma, take a short pause, and in case you encounter a period, or full stop, take a medium pause. Noticing punctuation marks is the safest way to take pauses.
Moreover, these punctuation marks will help you in constructing sentences. By using these well-constructed sentences, you can format the entire speech. While speaking, we don’t read the punctuation marks out loud. Taking pauses will add an equal amount of value to that of the punctuation marks.
You can also use this tool to emphasise an essential point in your speech. Pausing after saying something impactful will present the time for the audience to process the information and sink in.
How Pauses Help You in Effective Communication
While communicating with someone else or with a group, you can use pauses to establish a connection with one or more people. A business English course can be a great help in forming a better understanding of pauses.
Give Yourself Time
There is a misconception that the pauses we take are only for the audience. Pauses are essential for both the speaker and the spectators. Whenever there is a pause, the speaker can recollect their thoughts, and they can also make sure that they are not showing any hurry while presenting. So, remember to take pauses, as your speech will become monotonous without pauses, which is not what you desire.
Keep the Audience Charmed
How many times have you noticed on television whenever something dramatic is about to take place, the announcer pauses before delivering the speech almost all the time? You will hear these dramatic pauses before the news anchor has intriguing news or from the game announcer before announcing the final results. Adding such pauses while presenting something will keep the audience attentive throughout the speech.
Last but not least, as we have already mentioned earlier in the article, pausing and making yourself silent for a certain period will help you eliminate the filers. To get a reaction from the audience, whether it is laughter or a cry, you need to allow them to react. And a powerful tool like pausing can help you to do that.
Irrespective of the situation, you need to speak less if you want to get heard by the people. Speaking less does not mean not conveying necessary information to the audience. It means communicating more while saying less by formulating the entire speech with pauses and silences at appropriate places. You need to pick your comments carefully. Besides that, you should also take the call on pauses in your speech. When you pause in the middle of the address, it will display your confidence. Alongside that, these pauses, whether short, medium, or long, will command the attention of the spectators. So, whenever you deliver a speech next time, consider pausing and using the tool to your advantage. If you require training to give speeches, you can join online English conversation classesat Affluent English. We will guide you so that you manage to gather the confidence to speak in a business meeting or in front of an audience.