August 19, 2009

The endless pause



On last week's episode of Monk, I watched as the characters sat through one of the most delicious and awkward pauses I've ever seen.

Monk and Samuel are tied up in the back of a delivery truck, being driven to a remote location by a killer. Samuel turns to Monk and says:

"I have an idea... I have an idea. Can you reach into my pants?"

They look at each other.

Pause.

Pause.

Pause.

Pause.

Pause.

"Yesss...?"

"My cigarette lighter."

They burn the ropes and escape.

Ten seconds! It was brilliant. It was funny. It was dramatic. It was unexpected. It made the scene.

Want to add some drama to your presentation? Add an extra-long pause!

6 comments. Please add yours! :

Jon Thomas, Presentation Advisors said...

Pauses can be extremely effective! I posted a presentation tip on Twitter recently about pauses, which led me to expand on the tip here: http://blog.presentationadvisors.com/presentationadvisors/2009/08/presentation-technique-the-pause.html.

Great post, and Monk is a great show!

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks, Jon! I find my inspiration wherever it hits me over the head. This week it was Monk!

John said...

Hi Lisa,

A nice, simple article on pauses (and also on the unique places from which we can get our inspiration).

You might enjoy this clip from a Toastmasters contest a few years ago. The contest was for impromptu speaking. The question was, "If you obey all the rules, you miss half the fun. Is this a good or bad philososhy to live by?"

The winner (thinking on the spot) started discussing the rules of public speaking. Watch for the pause!

http://tinyurl.com/lt37z5

I also wrote an article on the importance of pausing on my blog that your readers might find helpful. It has some links to speeches by Churchil and Obama that really drive home just how effective good pausing can be.

http://tinyurl.com/pjn6al

Hope all is well!

John Zimmer
http://mannerofspeaking.wordpress.com/

Saks said...

Sounds like the art of the pause-able!

Sorry, had to....

- Andy Saks

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Hey, Andy's a punster! LOL

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for the links, John! I'll check them out.

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