Silence. Some people are scared of it, some people are comforted by it. Either way, it’s an impactful tool in our lives that we can take for granted. A good example of this is in movies. The online series Every Frame a Painting highlights how effective silence is in creating dramatic and intense moments on screen.

The video examines how film uses silences in a powerful way, but also looks at examples of when silence is not used at all. Movies are increasingly filling every moment with sound or music, when silence can amplify a scene even more so. Long scenes with lots of loud noise will make every sound blur together and nothing will stand out. Timing plays a major role in when and how to use silence. The best way to figure out when to use it is to look for specific moments where silence can build to a climax or reveal a character.

Research has also shown that silence can help the brain produce more cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is associated with memory, emotion and learning. Silence also helps with relaxation and expanding attention spans.

Read More: The Impact of the Silent Presenter

These moments can be created in your own presentation. By sticking to the same rules applied to film, you can use silence in a presentation for the same memorable effect.

Be Deliberate

One of the main takeaways I got from this video is to be deliberate with silence. Plan and prepare for where you can use silence in your presentation. This will help you avoid an awkward moment. When you can find the perfect spot to use silence, it can be effective and impactful for your presentation.

Build Up

Create a moment for your silence. Like the video explains, silence is a central dramatic beat of a scene. So if you are delivering a passionate and emotional story, or using a piece of video to drive home a point, it’s better to end that moment with silence rather than continuing right along with your presentation.

Don’t Misuse or Overuse Silence

Too much silence can make your presentation ineffective or make you appear unprepared. And silence in the wrong places will make your audience uncomfortable. It’s important to practice your presentation with and without the silence in front of friends or colleagues to see if it will work. If the timing is not just right, the silence will not have the impact that you wish for.

Just like directors plan for the best moments to let silence amplify a scene, presenters can do the same thing for their presentation. Silence when done right will leave a lasting impression on your audience. It’s important to look at your overall speech and plan for the opportunity. But don’t overuse this tool and create a cringe-worthy moment. Learn more about this tool by taking a look at our previous blogs on how to best use silence in a presentation.

The Science of Silence

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