First, let’s talk about what doesn’t happen when pausing.
- The audience does not think that you’ve forgotten something.
- The audience does not hear your heart beating.
- The audience does not think that you are stupid.
- The audience does not think that you are a bad speaker.
- The audience does not think that your speech is over.
So what does happen when pausing?
- You look composed and confident.
- Your ethos (credibility) is enhanced.
- The audience has time to think about what you’ve just said.
- The audience focuses on you.
- The audience is engaged.
All things considered, I’d say that learning how to pause when you speak, and becoming comfortable with the silence, is something worth doing … wouldn’t you?
Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr