Miles Davis, I think it was, said once that the essence of great music wasn't the notes you played, but the silence between the notes. This post is for him.
Earlier today, in his Marketing Catalyst blog, Bruce Allen wrote a nice little post about the value and virtue of silence in business development. Hear, hear.
All too often, when we're marketing ourselves and our firms, we talk too much. We talk about ourselves. We talk about the firm. We talk about the great work we'll do.
Try slowing it down. Try thinking for ten seconds before you speak. Try smiling without saying anything.
Depending on the setting, it can be incredibly effective. If, for example, you're negotiating something, by remaining silent you can often get the other person to reveal his position first. You can make yourself appear serenely confident. You can create tension, or drama, that gives your words much more impact.
Even a few seconds of silence -- a pause, really -- can work wonders when you speak. Try it.