What is pause in speech

Effective breaks in speeches and presentations

The positive effect of breaks


"The right word may be effective, but no word has ever been as effective as a properly placed pause," said Mark Twain. Why is he right? Therefore:



1. Dramaturgy


Breaks are a powerful tool for building tension in lectures. Not just when telling stories. Because the dramaturgy unfolds through breaks. The effect of a speech without pauses falls by the wayside. Only the break gives the words space to unfold.




2. Reinforcement after a statement


Slowly and clearly you convey an important message. Then take a break so that the statement is reinforced and effective. As you do this, keep eye contact to see if it has arrived. When in doubt, press it. Again in other words. You would probably do that in a conversation and why should you forego it here?




3. Pay attention to a statement before the statement


Take a dramatic pause before making a weighty statement. This increases curiosity, interest and receptiveness. This is how the focus is directed.




4. Avoid filling sounds


Anyone who uses Uh, Umm, Exactly, Really, ... and Co. instead of using breaks distracts from the message and reduces their own credibility. Filler sounds and filler words seem anything but competent.

If that's relevant: 11 tips for speech ticks: Uhhs, Uhms, Mhhs, filler sounds, stem syllables, filler words and other language parasites




5. Time for mental processing


With a text, each reader can decide for himself how fast it goes. If necessary, a section can also be read again. It's a little different with a contribution. It takes time for the audience to process the information. Breaks give the audience this time.

More on this? Article: Speaking speed: Tips for the correct speaking speed in conversations, speeches, presentations




6. Public contact


The idea of ​​gazing through all the rows of the audience gives many speakers goose bumps. But this personal contact with the audience is worthwhile. It is more like a dialogue and leads to each individual in the audience feeling addressed. Appropriate breaks are required for this form of eye contact.

Further suggestions can be found in article 14+ tips for eye contact with effect in conversations and presentations.