The Impact of Pausing in Professional Communication


When faced with an important professional interaction, people tend to put a lot of thought into what they are going to say. A wise choice of words is certainly important, but so is how the message is delivered.

Our tone of voice, rate of speech, and other non-verbal cues often say more about our message than our words themselves. One extremely powerful, but often overlooked communication tool is the pause.

When people are nervous, excited, or speaking about something they feel passionate about, they often speak quicker than usual. This often causes the speaker to lose much of the vocal variety that makes speech powerful and interesting to the listener. Inserting a well-timed pause can help to restore a natural flow, and give more power to your speech.

However, it is not just enough to pause; you want to make sure you are pausing in the most powerful places possible.

Usually, this is either right before or after an important point to which you want to draw your listener’s attention.

Pausing before an important point allows the listener to fully focus and builds anticipation. Pausing immediately after you make an important point allows your listener to absorb the information and react to it. When properly used, silence can be worth a thousand words.

Indeed, the most precious part of a speech is the power of the pause. Know when to pause, and you’ll be a great speaker! It is not always what we say, it’s how we say it.

Related: How Important Is Strong Communication in Today’s Business World?