Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The pause that refreshes

It is also true about public speaking, even though it was an old slogan from 1929 used to sell Coca Cola. When used sparingly pauses can be devastating. We can pause anywhere in a speech - at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. Stephen D. Boyd suggested that:

“One way to insure good eye contact is to look at your audience before you start to speak. Go to the lectern and pause, smile, look at the audience, and then speak.”

George Torok said that the pause is the One Thing to be a powerful presenter.

I still remember back when I was in high school (about 45 years ago) that Al Julius, then the news director at KQV-AM radio in Pittsburgh, used to close his commentaries with a simple:

"This-----is Al Julius."

That single five-second pause (where all you could hear was the teletype machine clattering faintly in the background) stood out like a mountain above an ocean of disc jockeys - who all were deathly afraid of leaving any dead air.

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