A pause in your pitch can be a good thing

Usually, when you pitch, you don’t have hours at your disposal. The limited amount of time is part of what defines a pitch, but even when time is short, saying nothing for a (little) while can be very effective. There are a couple of benefits to the pause when you’re presenting something, and when you get the basics of pitching, maybe experimenting a little with your pauses can take your pitch to the next level.

Let your audience breathe

One thing, we touched on in (LINK)[another article] here at Pitcherific is that a pause in your stream of words gives the audience a chance to ‘catch their breath’ so to speak. It gives them a moment to contemplate what you just said – to better understand your message. A pause also emphasizes the words that come after the pause, so you can highlight the key words and phrases in your pitch with a good pause.

The pause is not just good for understanding when you put yourself in the audience’s shoes. It allows for the audience to imagine and to dream. I’m not talking about daydreaming and imagining themselves lying on a sunny beach during your pitch – in that case, you’ve done something wrong. I’m talking about visualizing what you are saying to them.

Think about it – if you rush through a pitch that calls for the audience to imagine how they are always stuck in traffic; they might miss why your idea is so great. On the other hand, if you let them think back to this morning when they spent 20 minutes at a snail’s pace, they might be inclined to think, you’re on to something.

Signal calmness and control

Another benefit of pauses is, that you appear more confident and calm because you don’t rush through your words as if you’re just about to forget them. You signal to the audience, that you’re in control, you know your stuff, and you will take the audience by the hand and guide them through your presentation.

Think about who you are more positive towards. The employee at the shoe store who talks fast and looks around to find the next customer as soon as you’re done? Or the employee who takes the time to find just the right size and a couple of alternatives, in case the shoe doesn’t fit quite right? A calm and friendly demeanor can get you a long way.

The good pause

So how exactly do you make a good pause in your pitch? Take a look at people who are used to taking the stage. Speakers and stand-up comedians. Pauses are an integrated part of what they do, and below we have a great (and quite funny to be honest) example of using pauses effectively.

The experienced speaker James gives the audience a chance to picture him and Solomon both doing their thing. He’s taking them along as he recounts his dance with the man behind the spam.

Mind you there are situations, that are better suited than others to make pauses – you don’t want to be interrupted when holding your pause, so choose carefully. On a stage pitching investors or a meeting pitching your project is great – maybe the networking event with busy people all over is not that great.

Mikkel Guldbjerg Jensen

Mikkel Guldbjerg Jensen

Mikkel’s goal is to spread the Pitcherific-tool as far and wide as possible to allow startups to get off to a good start. Mikkel roams the communication channels and organizes the communications effort of Pitcherific.

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