Top 20 Things Every Lawyer Should Know

3. How to Use Silence in an Opening Argument

  • Use silence for emphasis and build-up.


  • Silence works well with an attentive crowd, but it can be even more effective when employed to rein in a restless audience. “How come he stopped talking?”


  • Maintain eye contact during pauses. Don’t look down.


  • Don’t try using silence when you’re the last speaker before lunch—between ravenous hunger and scripted suspense, ravenous hunger wins every time.