Power of the Pause

When I was at an event recently watching a very well known speaker on the circuit, who I love and respect, I noticed something was missing. Her story felt stale and she didn’t seem to speak from her heart. Her story and message is amazing. Even though her story was phenomenal there was something missing. I went away and thought about it and I realised there was one very important ingredient missing that would have given her story real connection and zest. It would have really engaged me.

One of the important ways to do that is to “pause”. When pauses don’t happen there is no space for us, as the listeners, to take on the enormity of what someone is saying. On this occasion, it would have allowed me to get my head around what the experience she was sharing would have been like. Also, because she shared her story so rapidly, there was no time for her to consider what she was sharing and the enormity of her story. Whilst she knew her story, as her listeners, we had only heard it for the first time. We needed that time to be able to absorb it.

The power of the pause also allows the speaker to connect with their story on a deep emotive level. We need to have this depth of connection to our story so that the listener feels it’s authenticity. Otherwise we can sound rehearsed and disconnected.

When you’re sharing your story it’s not about you not knowing what you’re doing. It’s about courtesy and relief that we can actually think about what it is you’re sharing. Pauses allow us, as the listener, to do that. It gives us an opportunity to reflect and appreciate the depth of what is being shared. We absolutely need that to be able to connect with your story.

Now how do You feel about the pauses?

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

Mark Twain

Here’s to speaking from Your heart and sharing Your message!