I often talk about and write about the power of silence and the value of a pause in public speaking and presentation skills. The silence allows you to breath, it allows the audience time to take in and digest what you have said, it allows you time to recover if your mind goes blank, it demonstrates calmness and confidence, and it can punctuate and transition between different points and aspects of your speech.
Let me share some of my favourite quotes on the value of silence with you:
“Hospitality consists in a little fire, a little food and an immense quiet” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Well-timed silence is the most commanding expression” ~ Mark Helprin
“There are times when silence has the loudest voice” ~ Leroy Brownlow
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause” ~ Mark Twain
“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute” ~ Josh Billings
“Silence is the safety zone of conversation” ~ Arnold Glasow
So don’t be afraid of silence, don’t be afraid of the pause. Use silence to enhance and amplify what you are saying each time you present.