But your video doesn’t have to be hilarious. It just has to employ one key comedic technique in particular:
Ever notice the pauses in a stand-up routine? Those delicious moments before the joke lands?
Check out the beat that Paula Poundstone takes at 0:21:
Or the milliseconds Jim Gaffigan leaves beginning at 1:58 after “buffet,” “plate,” “fruit,” and “waited.”
But a moment of silence is a rarity, and has a lot of attention-pulling power. It gives the audience a chance to catch an important point, smile at a joke or clever concept, and get curious about what’s next.
Since pauses happen naturally when there’s not a script involved, they’re also an inoculation against stodgy reads.
The great news is that you don’t have to think too hard about it. Like professional comedians, professional voice actors know where and when to pause so that the timing is Just. Right.
All you have to do is leave enough breathing room in the script for them to do it.