Use Pauses And Achieve More When Public Speaking

Why use pauses in your speech? It's a question that we are asked all the time.

And we answer it by asking another question…

What makes a good public speaker really stand out?

It isn't really just a matter of confidence, rhetorical skills or a good speech writer. Though they are very important!

It's delivering a speech that really counts.

Why use pauses in your speech

Why Use Pauses in a Speech

Because a mighty fine speech can be ruined with poor delivery. And a poor speech can be much more effective with proper delivery.

So that begs the question...

What's involved with delivering a speech?

Keeping it simple, there are 4 main elements to a well-delivered speech:

  • Pace or speed
  • Pronunciation of words
  • Tone and tempo
  • and, Pausing

Speed of delivery will always be most commented on by an audience. But, with a focus on pauses, your pausing will be consistent with your speed of delivery.

But there's much more to it than just slowing down or quickening up. A lot more.

Use Pauses In Your Speech

A well-timed pause has your audience pondering what you've just said. They make sense of your theory. And, they grasp the merits of your argument. That's as they use the quiet time to really understand your speech.

"The most precious things in speech are the pauses." Ralph Richardson

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And there's more.

Because your audience also uses the quiet time to consider what you are going to say next. Yes, that happens when you pause.

It's bizarre. But it's true. That's what your audience will do. Of course, this was clear in the Governor's speech from Mark Carney.

It's not dissimilar to an audience's reaction when a comedian pauses before the punchline to a joke. There's anticipation, expectation and a guess or two at the next line. You can really see this with the President Obama Gridiron speech. So, effective ​pauses in action.

​Pauses really do work. It's proven and it's well worth your time. That's the well-timed pause when public speaking.



You can discover more public speaking tips when you join a public speaking course or when you request a corporate training day for your team.

So, when the time is right, please don't hesitate to get in touch for public speaking course advice.


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​You can discover a whole series of public speaking tips from Time to Market. Read them, listen to the podcasts or watch the videos. And, when you want to give your own public speaking skills a further boost, please don't hesitate to consider some training or coaching. You can always contact us when the time is right.

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Thomas Babington Macaulay

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  • […] The approach to pausing in this Jerry Brown youtube speech is also reminiscent of the former California Governor—Ronald Reagan. They appear when you least expect them and in the oddest places. But it’s effective. As a political speaker, Jerry Brown does certainly know why it’s essential to use pauses in your speech. […]

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