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Category Archives: The Power of Silence

Punctuation and the Public Speaker

Last week, in my Long Beach Writing Examiner column I honored National Punctuation Day with a post about paying attention to punctuation. You can read it at Paying attention to punctuation.

Then yesterday, a friend sent me this image:

And this got me to thinking how punctuation, although used as a visual cue for readers, can be just as important for speakers. In fact, when you’re writing your speech, it can even be more important!

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The Power of Silence

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.

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