The Art of Speaking is the Art of Pausing.

Eric Stone
4 min readFeb 5, 2021

Every verbal attempt has a rhythm and a tempo, very much like music does.

Context and Premise: Beyond presence and talent, good speaking is viewed as a verbal art form. Elocution, diction, projection and modulation, to only name a few elements, are believed to be the obvious and essential ingredients to a good presentation or performance. So much more goes into good speaking, but it is important to try to pierce the myth of verbal life.

With verbal power comes the undeniable importance of skills in the arenas of intentions, staging, presence, experience and message. All these aspects have two dynamics in common: space and time. On a practical level, time is punctuated by silence or pauses. Firing content at an audience or in a one-on-one conversation spells disaster and can be very annoying.

Every verbal attempt has a rhythm and a tempo, very much like music does. A happy balance between sound and silence creates harmony in music. That is what creates the mood of a musical piece and that of all verbal communications.

Spoken language is organized and governed by time (rhythm, phrasing, and pauses) and by melody (pitch, intonation, and inflection.)

The silence or pause is an interruption of the sound. Without it, there would either only be sound or nothing at all. Individuals and audiences alike feel, think, and listen during the pause. Ideas and talent are grasped at the pause or during the silence of your performance.

Good speakers verify at each pause if their message is getting across. They adjust based on what they find at the pause. It is impossible to listen to anything that contains no pause or silence. It is so obvious one could not even put it to the test. Well, try focusing on your dissertation while a baby is screaming its head off next to you on an airplane :)

The magic of subtext.

Pauses are the oxygen of all verbal communications, from one-on-one chitchat to full-scale great speeches or performances. Pausing, therefore, is the art of creating silence so people can understand the meaning of what you are doing and saying.

--

--

Eric Stone

All great outcomes in life come from a paradigm shift in perspective. Maximize your personal development with emotional awareness, confidence & great skills.