“Power of negative space” reads the short blurb above a Picasso drawing at the Dallas Museum of Art.
This phrase intrigues me. Power exudes from the quiet places in art. Quid pro quo for speaking. You gain more power, more presence, more traction from the quiet, negative spaces than from constant talking.
Pause more. Here’s how.
1. Pause before you begin your formal presentation. Step to the lectern, stand tall, smile, establish eye contact around the room, count to three, and THEN begin.
2. Pause before you answer a question at a meeting. Sit tall, establish eye contact around the room, count to two and THEN begin.
3. Pause during your informal or formal talk. You can pause between topics, between paragraphs, just before something climatic (great traction getter), and before your conclusion.
Beware. Silence before and during a speech, no matter how short, causes anxiety! You think this negative space is deafening. It is NOT. It creates drama, power and gravitas.
A stunning piece of art has a central focus point and a background congruent with the piece of work. Your speech has the same fluidity. Main points; stories, analogies and data to support these points; AND quiet spaces throughout that tie the message together.
Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with organizations on how to communicate to make more money. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog/