The power of silence

I’ve been working on new material to add to my presentation skills workshops.  I’ve spent a fair bit of time thinking about what works and what doesn’t.

A big task is to engage with the audience, to get them to pay attention to your messsages.  Even haredr is the job of keeping them engaged!  People won;t normally focus on your message for more than 5 to 10 minutes.

Unless you do something to make them curious.

Curiosity is very powerful – it’s one of those things that can get yur audience to listen to your every word, just to find out what’s going to happen next.

So here’s something that might appear odd.

Just stop talking.

Only for a few seconds.

Silence will grab attention very quickly.  Why?  Because people will wonder what on earth you’re doing.  They will be expecting you to be constantly talking, telling them stuff.

They won’t expect you just to shut up!

Be careful though.  Too much silence isn’t good.  People will think you’ve forgotten your script!

Just a few seconds will do.  It’s also a very good way to shut up those distracting side conversations that sometimes start in the middle of a presentation.  It’s amazing how quickly people stop talking once they realise you aren’t!

Next time you deliver a presentation, work out where it would be good to stop and ensure your audience is paying attention.

Then just shut up!

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