When I was studying belly dance, one of the things I learned was the power of stillness … those moments in a dance where you hold a pose, are still and not moving. It is those moments of stillness that lend power to the movement of the dance.
The same is true with silence during a presentation. There are times when you need to make a statement … then pause. Don’t rush on to the next sentence. Hold the silence and let your words sink in.
For some reason, people tend to fear the silence so they fill it up with verbal fillers such as “um,” “ah” and “ya know.”
Embrace the silence between your words.
Embrace the silence between your sentences.
Let your audience have a breather once in awhile to soak in the meaning of your words. Let their ears rest a moment while their minds take it all in.
Then, once you’ve mastered the ability to not fill moments of silence with verbal fillers, start working on the power of silence to carry some of the load during your presentation.
There are times when silence, like stillness, is just as powerful (if not more so) in conveying meaning as the sound of your voice.