Silence - go on, try it sometime


London, 27th January 2011 - Some of the most powerful moments in presentations are when nothing is being said at all. A pause can add enormous dramatic effect. Strangely, it encourages your audience to reconnect with you if attention had been wandering. If you pause for a moment, most people will stop and look at you, even if they’re just wondering if you’ve frozen.
Most presentations try to communicate too much. I’ve read before that we’re hit by around 3,000 messages per day, which sounds exhausting. Just think how many messages you might try to relay in 15 minute presentation. You’ll probably use about 1500 words in that time, so that’s likely to include a huge number of messages.
I believe silence is a truly vital part of communication, whether you are presenting to a group, talking to the media, or just participating in a meeting. It allows people to catch up with what you’ve suggested. It allows them to think, and truly engage with what you’ve been saying.
It does take some nerve though, but I’m convinced it will make your presentations and interviews more memorable, literally.
So if I finish by suggesting you shut up once in a while, I hope you’ll take it in the spirit with which it is offered…….