Sunday, May 13, 2012

High-Impact Public Speaking: Example of a Pregnant Pause in Action From a Historic Speech by LBJ

The 30+ second video clip below illustrates a highly experienced and admirable public speaker employing the pregnant pause masterfully to emphasize a key word or phrase.

The historic clip—yes, it's kind of faded—is from President Johnson’s first address to Congress after assuming the presidency. In exhorting the audience to get going on the late President Kennedy’s “stalled” agenda, Johnson uses a strategically placed pregnant pause to emphasize that by so doing, the nation will be ensuring that the assassinated president’s life and death were “not in vain.”

The clip was cut from Rita Braver’s stirring segment on the famous LBJ biographer Robert Caro (yes, it is Ms. Braver’s voice in the background), featured in the April 29, 2012, edition of CBS’s “Sunday Morning”--my favorite television program by far!

© Copyright 2012 V. J. Singal
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