According to Forbes, pauses are “powerful” and “necessary” before speaking. Why? When you pause, you give yourself time to make connections based on your personal experiences or knowledge. Essentially, this time also allows you to collect your thought and respond in real-time.

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Reflect on how to pause and think

Learning how to pause and think before you speak is fundamental in developing and honing your communication skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.

Do you pause to build up suspense or to gather your thoughts?

Exercises to help you pause and think

Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your communication skills can allow you to pause and think before you speak.

  • Reflect on what has been said before responding. Ask yourself if the information is valid, helpful, or delivered in a constructive way.
  • Take deep breaths when you feel like you’re about to respond rapidly. This can give you time to collect your thoughts and respond appropriately.
  • Ask questions to help you gain clarity. Questions can fill in the gaps and even act like a buffer before giving a thoughtful response.

Additional resources to help you pause and think

How To Master The Art Of The Pause In Public Speaking
A well-placed pause can grab your audience’s attention. Here are three ways to deploy one.
Is How You Speak Sabotaging Your Success? 7 Ways to Power Up Your Language
Psychological research has found that your subconscious interprets what it hears very literally. The words you think and speak therefore create the world in which you inhabit. Your words have immense power. Power to open up possibilities, and power to close them down. Power to build trust, and power…
Before You Start Talking, Think
Uncertainty — market uncertainty, regulatory uncertainty — can adversely affect the success and growth of a company. But there’s another kind of uncertainty that takes a big toll on performance: the lack of certainty that exists within a company. More than ever before, people at all levels of an org…

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