Pause...Silence Can Be Golden

If you think speaking in front of a group is difficult, try standing there while saying nothing! The absence of words - silence - when purposefully used is one of the most powerful tools a speaker can master.

The Power Of The Pause

If you think speaking in front of a group is difficult try standing there while saying nothing! The absence of words - silence - when used purposefully is one of the most powerful tools as a speaker can master.

A pause is like the white space between paragraphs. It can mark the end of one set of ideas and the beginning of another. You and your listeners need that brief 1 - 3 second silent auditory space, to think and sort out ideas.

All of life progresses on the balance of action and inaction - silence and activity.Night turns to day, sleep follows activity, and winter is followed by spring. Use a pause to add a natural rhythm to your presentation.

Mastering the use of pause and gaining comfort with silence when presenting is a top-drawer skill and adds a natural ease to a very focused skill and power.


  • Overusing pause - can appear affected, calculated and tedious

  • Using filler words or non words like "um", "ah", "and ah", "so", "ya know", "like" and many others to fill in the silence - you lose credibility

  • Talking without any pauses - your ideas will run together wearing out your listeners and lowering your impact

What Works:

  • Using a mini-pause at the end of a sentence for punctuation

  • Pause to refocus when you forget an idea, look at your notes if you need a reminder

  • Pause and breathe to replace and eliminate filler word or non words

  • Pause for about 2 seconds when you transition from one section of material to another

  • Allow 3 seconds for a pause to have dramatic effect


  • Allows you to take a full breath

  • You will sound more conversational and better received

  • You will have a moment to think about your idea

  • Eliminating deadly "ums" and "ahs" increases your credibility

  • Dramatic pauses add emphasis, power, and grace to your ideas

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