This week, I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the audio version of my book “How to Win a Pitch.” It’s been a lot of time at the recording studio. And during that time, I’ve regained appreciation for the power and importance of the pause.
In listening to the initial recording of the book, the biggest mistake I made was not pausing long enough at certain points.
For example, I would be reading a chapter and would come to a section where there is a new thought and a headline to introduce that thought. It might be ”Make Your Points Sound Like Substantive Bumper Stickers.” But I wouldn’t pause to emphasize the headline. Instead, I would just read through without hesitating.
Of course, the problem is that the listener isn’t reading the book and can’t see the headline. Since when you’re listening to a book — as opposed to reading it – there are no visual cues that it’s a new section. The listener can’t know it’s a new section. It can lead to confusion. So we had to go back and add in the pauses as a way of creating a clear sense of sections and order.
It was just a reminder to me that sometimes the most important communication tool you have is closing your mouth and saying nothing.