Silence can be a powerful tool for a public speaker. However, there is a fine balance between effective silence and too long a silence that either indicates to an audience that the speaker has problems or allows the audience to get restless. As you get more experienced at public speaking you will get a feel for the effective length of time.
Silence after you have advised important information will allow the audience to absorb the message and take in the words you have spoken. Silence before a message indicates to your audience that there is something important coming up that they should pay attention to.
When you get up to speak it can be very effective to let the silence build before you make your opening attention getting statement. After you have been introduced a period of silence while the applause finishes will capture the audience’s attention and their focus will be on you the speaker.
The best silence of all is the one you get at the completion of your speech – you have held the audience in the palm of your hand, you finish and there is complete silence before the applause begins.
This is the silence that you work for doing your pubic speaking journey. You may not get it many times in your career but when you do you know that you have achieved all that you have aimed and worked for.
Savour the silence and let it work for you.
Trish @ Trischel