Speak… and stop!

I remember a day from when I used to host a morning show for TV— I had invited my radio mentor, Sławek Bajew, to be my guest for that episode. I was feeling proud that he would get to see me in action and see how much I had grown. He came early on set, we had a good time before and during the shoot and by the time he left, I was satisfied with my work for the day.

A few days later, my radio mentor called me asking if he could share something he noticed that day and give me a piece of advice. Of course, I replied. He asked me to try to change my tone through the episode, to bring in some variety. He mentioned as an example that when I was reporting the traffic news, my voice was even and I barely stopped. He recommended I take breaks. There is nothing to be nervous about when it comes to pausing, he added.

To be honest, he had hit the nail on the head. Silence on radio, TV, as a host and presenter, often takes on a giant shape. I used to think that silence was a mistake. Maybe those watching on tv or hearing me present would hear the silence, how loud it was, and decide that I was doing a bad job. Surely if I was a good host, I would be able to be clever and prepared with words all the time right?

Wrong. There is no need to fill in all moments with words, or to be continuously performing. Silence is a normal part of all conversations, dialogues. Speeches, even music. It is where sound and thoughts come from. When we fall quiet and speak again, we emulate the ebb and flow of the tide. This swinging back and forth between words and silence is the best way to present ourselves. Why?

  1. Because it allows you to collect your thoughts properly and present them well. Keynote speaker/presenter/magician Vinh Giang has a video on why you should pause while speaking. He points out that if we practice it we will notice that we have stopped using filler words like “umm”s and “aah”s. It ends up making the speaker sound more credible and capable of communicating well. As an emcee, I might not be using many filler words but the nervous energy of wanting to fill silence always translates into some form of a verbal excess and listeners can pick up on that.
  2. Listeners have time to process what you are telling them. Listening is much more demanding than reading in a way. When it comes to a static text, someone can read it many times over and stop and reflect and question. When they are listening, there is no static text. Conversation or speech is dynamic and demands a lot of focused attention. If you pause for a while, listeners can take time to absorb what you are saying.
  3. Quiet complements dynamism. What this means is that taking pauses, breaks, allows silence to be a creative space. When you pause, it’s not just about you but about the moment. Someone can ask you a question, they can clarify something, they can add to the conversation with their own observations, thoughts, etc.

When I was on the Fleek Marketing podcast with Jonny Ross, one of the things we ended up discussing was the importance of quiet or silence when hosting. So if you would like to consider the importance of silence as a host or even a listener, you can listen to that episode. And I hope that you will take away at least one small thing from this piece. That when speaking, it’s better than alright to pause and let silence do its magic 🙂


Now I will write something about myself. I like to be with people – but I don’t like it when the atmosphere is tense. That’s why I’ve learned to shorten the distance and make it bearable. Sometimes it’s even friendly. So much so that I host the largest conferences and panel discussions in Poland, and increasingly abroad.

My specialities are technology, environment and business. I am also a legal advisor (but that’s a longer story for another time). I have created dozens of radio and TV programmes, including a talk-show in English. I studied at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. And I love the United States. 

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