If you ask any public speaking professional, he or she will inform you that timing is a crucial element in the event. Really, it’s a make or break deal. Where you position certain material and humor and how you pause will determine the audience’s reaction.
Knowing when and how long to pause is especially important in public speaking engagements. When you are telling a joke or imparting key points, provide a significant pause before and after the content. This will act as a clue to the audience that something is coming up that they need to pay attention to and provide time for them to soak it all in after the fact. However, you don’t want to pause for an obnoxious amount of time, say half an hour in a 45 minute public speaking event. Granted, that’s somewhat of an exaggeration, but some pauses may feel like 45 minutes to the audience. Practice different pause placements and durations throughout your presentation before taking it to the stage.