Pausing for a Breath

I regularly read Penelope Trunk, a career-advice columnist with the Boston Globe and author of the Brazen Careerist. While her subject matter is sometimes off the wall and her manner of delivery is even more so, I still find her informative, educational and applicable.

PT, as she’s often referred to by her blog followers, recently wrote on the idea of the pause. She wrote in regards to public speaking and how a pause adds impact to the important things a speaker has to say.

Here’s an example:

You’re listening to a speaker fire away, non-stop, on, and on, and on. He doesn’t give you time to replenish oxygen let alone absorb what’s being said. In a more effective delivery, a speaker would briefly pause after specific points during his speech. He would give his audience opportunity to laugh at his jokes, feel the emphasis of what’s important, or collect their thoughts.

The same can be said for our writing
The long, drawn out paragraph is like the rambling, non-stop speaker. There’s a major difference, however. The speaker, at least, gets a start with his message before loosing his audience. The writer, on the other hand, loses his audience before his first words are ever read.

Why?

Because we, the audience, are automatically scared away by big blocks of written text. In today’s world of blogging, twittering and news articles, this is magnified all the more.

“I encourage people to pause in their writing,” wrote an instructor, who commented on PT’s blog. “I suggest that they write paragraphs of two or three sentences. This may not be what you learned in school, but it works. A paragraph break in a written document is like a pause in a conversation.”

Pay attention to the writing style of quality newspapers. Take note of well-written blogs. Learn what people are reading today and keep that form in mind as you write your message of Christ.


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