The Power of the Pause

Burlington, ON (George Torok) When you don’t know what to do, what should you do? Pause and smile.

Imagine that you are speaking to a crowded room of eager listeners. Suddenly your mind goes blank – you forget what you just said, and what comes next. If you speak in public this will happen to you. You’ve seen it happen to others, they stammer and sputter and even apologise. What should you do? “Remain calm, look at your audience, pause and smile.” recommends Peter Urs Bender, Canada’s Presentation Guru and author of the Canadian best Seller, Secrets of Power Presentations. “If you panic you will lose your thoughts. When you smile, you look confident and your brain will get back on track.”

“When negotiating with your suppliers or customers the strongest thing you can say is – nothing.” coaches Nellie Vieira of Negotiation Resource International, (NRI). “It is so unnerving to the other party that they concede – just to get you talking.” The North Vietnamese used this tactic in the Paris peace negotiations. The North Vietnamese kept nodding and smiling. The frustrated Americans gave away the farm.

Life is hectic. “If you can not rest you can not endure”, counsels Eli Bay, founder of the Relaxation Response Institute. “It is important to break out of the activity cycle of work and listen to your body. Smiling, even a weak smile, releases endorphins that make you feel better.”

Charles de Gaulle stated, “Silence is the ultimate weapon of power”.
Remember that when you need to be powerful. (pause).

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