From their very first day on the radio, air talent is taught that dead air is unacceptable. It causes tune out, right? Over the decades, we have assumed that even pausing for a microsecond will cause listeners to tune out. Well, it’s wrong. In reality, the power of the pause is a tool every radio personality can and should use.
It’s a technique used by great speakers and storytellers throughout history, from Winston Churchill to Paul Harvey to Dave Ryan.
But few personalities, especially in music formats, don’t use it effectively.
Short pauses allow the audience to keep up with a conversation. It generates attention by suggesting that what comes next is important. And it can add drama to build anticipation.
Without pauses, personalities can sound mundane. Thoughts run together, causing listeners to miss key points. And without effective communication, the break is nothing but noise.