1.To Breathe: we pause to breathe. The deeper the breath, the more power in your vocal projection and the more control you will have over your nerves. So respect the action of effective breathing – intercostal diaphragmatic breathing.
2. For Emphasis: we pause for emphasis. This helps to make the word or words stand out in a sentence. We create emphasis by speaking louder or softer; by lengthening the initial vowel or consonant in the word or by pausing before the word and after, or both.
3. For Dramatic effect: silence can take your audience by surprise. Silence also gives your audience time to reflect and think about what you are saying.
4. To Keep the sense: be aware of your grammatical pauses. Pay attention to commas, full stops, exclamation marks, direct speech marks and of course the questions mark. All of these grammatical icons help you to pause where the writer intended.
5. For Effect: Silence in a speech can be more powerful than any word. Next time you listen to a comedian or a politician for that matter - listen for their pauses – how they pause and when they pause.
As Sir Ralph Wilson reminds us "a pause in the right place will fill the void, capture the attention, punctuate, illuminate and build the tension in a speech".