“How to Give Killer Presentations” is a terrific piece from the Harvard Business Review written by Chris Anderson, the curator of TED. (June 2013)
“Another approach creative types might consider is to build silence into their talks, and just let the work speak for itself. The kinetic sculptor Reuben Margolin used that approach to powerful effect. The idea is not to think “I’m giving a talk.” Instead, think “I want to give this audience a powerful experience of my work.” The single worst thing artists and architects can do is to retreat into abstract or conceptual language.”
On one hand, silence is a speaker’s worst nightmare. What could be more awful than standing up speak in front of an audience and drawing a complete blank!
Yet when used purposefully and effectively, silence can also be a speaker’s most powerful asset. We tend to try to fill the room with our words – with noise and are afraid of a break in that noise. The ability to stop and pause purposefully allow builds anticipation and allows are words to truly sink in.
From the Green Room: Pause purposefully. There is great power in silence. And the real learning happens in the silence between our words.