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In our media training sessions, we talk about the sense of uncomfortable silence that grips many of us.

We often feel we need to fill those awkward silences with words – which can get us in trouble.  When we go beyond answering the initial question with additional comments just so there isn’t that dreaded silence in the room, the chances of saying something we shouldn’t increase 100 percent.

Seriously, it’s okay to not talk.

Silence reared its ugly head again recently following a viewing of the blockbuster movie “American Sniper.”

Directed by Clint Eastwood, the movie is based on the autobiography of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.

The movie is intense.  It oozes patriotism, strength, courage and the price war takes on emotions, bodies and lives.

And as the movie concluded and the credits appeared, the sold-out theater remained silent.  When the lights came on, there was no applause, no sound, no nothing.  It was a silence brought on by the culmination of Kyle’s story, the fact that it was real, what he meant to American soldiers, his impact on freedom worldwide and the raw emotion the film provoked.

The silence in the theater was not a coached response to a difficult question.  But it was golden. And it was powerful.

If you saw the movie, was your experience similar?

Scott Hanson
Scott Hanson
President Scott is president of HMA Public Relations and a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network. He’s a Phoenix native, husband, father of two and a fan of all sports and a participant in some. Check out Scott's full bio

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