We help you speak English clearly.
Free Speech Lesson

Presentation Skills: The Pause – The Silent Moment that Packs a Punch

Presentation Skills: The Pause – The Silent Moment that Packs a Punch


“Pauses can achieve an effect that no combination of words could ever accomplish!”  -paraphrased from Mark Twain

You’ve seen master comedians  break up a crowd with a well-timed pause.  Today’s young comedians study the great– the late Jack Benny, Johnny Carson.  The well-timed pause is the tool of smart speakers.

So, where can you pause?

  • After introductory phrases or clauses

“Even though the city council meetings went well,  (pause) the  city administrators and supervisors still feel uneasy.”

  • Before conjunctions (but, or, and, because, et cetera)

We strongly urged them to revise the two year plan  (pause), but they didn’t take our advice.”

  • When citing a list of items

“We’ll need to call the vendors (pause), review our orders  (pause), double-check the fine print of our contracts(pause), refine the timetable (pause), and allow time to make changes.

  • When you want to inspire audience attention

Perhaps you wonder if this will affect you. (pause)  It will. (pause) Hard. (pause) Right in your bank account.

  • When emotions overcome you and you want to regain composure

Senator Edward Kennedy gave a memorial speech at American University in Washington, D.C. three decades after his brother , President John F. Kennedy. He delivered smoothly until he began recalling stories about his late brother.  He became emotional, and then stopped talking– a long pause before he could continue.

  • When an interruption catches the audience’s attention – or distracts your focus

When surprised by an unexpected interruption,  resist looking flustered. Simply pause to give yourself time to harness your thoughts.

Click here: www.cleartalkmastery.com/scheduler to sign up for a Free Sample Lesson with us! 

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha *