Using a pause at the right moment can create a comedic effect, or make a funny moment even funnier.
There are different contexts to use pauses. In a conversation with someone, pauses are used for a variety of reasons and at different points in the conversation. However, in comedy, pausing can also be really effective.
The pause can be applied just before the punchline, or funny part of the joke, in order to make the joke funnier.
“My biggest fear in life, is that I (PAUSE) will not take enough selfies.”
Sometimes,the pause is accompanied with a grim or serious look on one’s face, or by a change in body language like looking down at one’s feet, or looking away.
Other times, the pause is accompanied with a smile on the speaker’s face. Watch videos of one of the greatest comedians, Jerry Seinfeld, performing stand-up comedy. Sometimes he smiles as he pauses, before he delivers the punchline. He knows how to make it work.
Using a pause to create humour is a little tricky and harder than other comedic techniques. It is now always clear cut, nor is it always effective. If you are new to improving your ability to make jokes, it would be better to focus on learning and practising other comedy principles.
If you want to learn how to use pauses when making jokes, the best way to learn this is by watching videos of stand-up comedians and paying attention to see when they pause, and also by practising and trying using pauses.