Effective communication involves effectively pausing. Pausing at effective times while speaking is, well, effective.
What happens when you pause in a presentation or a conversation? It helps:
– Eliminate junk or filler words;
– Gather your thoughts and smoothly continue;
– Aid in the pacing of your speech and delivery;
– Calm the speaker;
– Make your message resonate and process with your audience;
– Maintain eye contact;
– Emphasize the importance of specific points you want to make;
– Change your tone or transition your topic;
– Garner attention;
– Show others you’re intently listening;
– Give your audience time to laugh (hopefully when it’s your intention);
– Serve as an opportunity to ask or answer questions, insert thoughts and continue to converse.
For some people, pausing is not as easy as it sounds. Take a mindful breath when pausing. When making a presentation, practice practice practice – this will make your pauses sound and feel normal, and not awkward. Make a conscious decision when pausing in conversation to better convey your message. Pausing. It’s effective.