More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

Communication Tip: Use the Pause that Refreshes

When you give a speech, you don’t have to keep talking, talking, talking until you run out of breath. Insert a pause every so often in your speech.

Pauses are good for both the audience and for you:

  • They give the audience a chance to think about what you said. Therefore, a good place to pause is right after you make a key point. Such a pause also adds emphasis and dramatic impact to your statement.
  • They add variety. A solid barage of words can get tiresome to an audience. A pause is a nice break for the listeners, and it keeps them attentive.
  • They slow down your pace so that the audience can understand you more. Nervous speakers tend to speak quickly in order to get the speech out of the way. Pausing gives you a chance to breathe, to calm down, and speak at a more controlled pace.
  • They help eliminates “ahs” and “ums”. People use such distracting fillers to give them time to think. You can use the pauses as your time to think, and it sounds more polished and professional to the audience.

Think about pauses in a speech like rests in music. They add dramatic effect and variety as well as giving you a chance to breathe. So, try adding pauses in your next speech.