Wednesday, August 31, 2011

High-Impact Public Speaking; Using a Pregnant Pause for Accentuating a Word or Sentence

Watch the video clip below. Notice how the speaker, Sen. Mitch McConnell, after stating what action he wants his party members to undertake, makes a long, deliberate pause (i.e., a pregnant pause) to give emphasis to the word that is about to follow--“first.” Placing a pregnant pause just before the last word in a sentence is not an everyday occurrence, which is why I felt this clip to be worthy of being featured in my blog. Usually, speakers use a pregnant pause just before or after making an important statement (to let the words sink in), or between the asking of a rhetorical question and delivering the answer. What makes this particular illustration of a pregnant pause all the more remarkable is that its positioning in the sentence helps compensate for the speaker’s monotone, non-table pounding voice and bland facial expression. It enables him to sharply underline what according to him is the #1 priority for his party. An extraordinary bit of public speaking.

Important note: Please do not mistake this post to be an endorsement of Sen. McConnell or his agenda.
© Copyright 2011 V. J. Singal
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