Silence is golden: Why shutting up makes people listen


If you want your audience to pay attention, try shutting up.

That’s the advice from JAR Audio, the podcast company suggesting in an article this week that sometimes we say it best when we say nothing at all.

“If you’re reading this post, you probably live in an absolute sea of sound, thanks in part to devices like your phone, TV, smart speaker, and laptop. Auditory chaos is the new normal, and it’s just about impossible to avoid that.”

“With the prevalence of tech today, you’re usually met with pings, dings, and chimes, never mind the hum of traffic, air con, and major appliances.”

It says because of this, the ABSENCE of sound is one of the most impactful tools we can use to transform any audio experience.

“Yes, a podcast is all about output. It is talk audio, after all. But if you’re going for maximum impact, you might want to take some hints from the selective speaker, and make space for silence in your branded content.”

But how much silence to use? And when does silence become confusing or awkward?

JAR notes that “After one second, we start to feel an uncomfortable gap. And after five seconds, we start to wonder if there’s anything else coming.”

“If you want to leverage silence in your corporate podcast, you will probably want to land somewhere between one and five seconds”

Putting things a little more bluntly, it’s about the host knowing when to shut up.

“While dead air between your host and your guest may feel awkward at first, it can make the difference between a good conversation, and a great one.”

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