Pauses in Speech: Normal or Abnormal
From Ronald Reagan to Atal Ji
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO and Past National President IMA
Bharat Ratna Awardee Sh Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former Prime Minister of India was known for his oratory as well as his pauses.
Silence does have a sound. And the effective use of silence in communication, often speaks louder than words. In Vedic description the word AUM has a silence after M.
As a public speaker, one must incorporate pauses at the right places, in the right moments to connect with the audience. Pauses help the audience understand & absorb the right message. Pauses add meaning & power to the spoken words.
1. The pregnant dramatic pause suggests more than what is expressed in words. It is pregnant with unexpected possibilities and longer than the other pauses. It adds a dramatic impact to what one is about to say. It is often used in comedy, suspense and by experienced & polished speakers to heighten anticipation in the listener.
Lots of people say “um” and have trouble quickly recalling names as they age. They used more pronouns such as “it” or “they” instead of specific names for things, spoke in shorter sentences and took longer to convey what they have to say.
A study in 2015 analysed dozens of press conferences by former US President Ronald Reagan and found evidence of speech changes more than a decade before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Similar changes can be seen when you follow the sequential speeches over last two decades of late Sh Atal Ji: a changed from normal pauses to pauses with fillers.
I also saw a change in the speeches of Advani ji over last two decades, often speaking repetitive sentences.
Leaders are our role models and their illnesses and early illness signs help in public education. Remember Atal Ji knee replacement surgery created a wave of knee surgeries in India.