The Power of Silence

 Alexeev_Alexey, CC0

Alexeev_Alexey, CC0

Wait for it...

Wait for it...
 

Whether you're building anticipation, adding emphasis, commanding attention, kindling an emotional connection, inspiring trust, or employing a device to calm your nerves, silence can be a speaker's best friend.  

It's the art and science behind the "drop" in your favorite song or the abrupt cessation of a theatrical score immediately before a game-changing moment at the movies. In music, film, and public speaking, silence has the profound power to captivate your audience.

To effectively execute silence, you have to stop talking, but by all means don't stop interacting with your audience. During the silence, genuine eye contact, purposeful movement, and context-appropriate gestures will compound the effectiveness of your silence (and make it obvious that you are being quiet on purpose, and didn't just forget your script).

Next time you have an important presentation or speech, try saying nothing at all, and watch silence work its magic on the audience.

Given the roar that silence can create, it belongs in every speakers' toolkit.