Pausing while speaking to an audience is daunting. Some avoid it by sprinting through their speech, pausing for a quick breath, many blank out in the pause, feel awkward and fidget with their notes, and a few avoid speaking altogether fearing their inability to overcome a pause.
Though pausing purposefully is a generous act because it allows your audience to catch up with you, feel your messages’ and react.
A worthwhile phrase I’ve improvised from Sue Sally is “stand chilly”.
Standing hints pausing physically, no gestures, fidgeting, swaying. Just remaining still, being present, witnessing your audience.
I resonate with chilly because it’s cooler than cool, It’s icy, it’s frigid. But it’s active too. It’s much more comfortable to stand chilly than to coolly pause.
As communicators, we need to stand chilly at times. To gather our thoughts, to let our audience to catch up, to let the emotion hang in the air and even to take their breath away!
Acknowledge your audience.