As magicians we STRIVE for applause and recognition. What happens when we DON'T get a reaction? We question the material, the presentation, and ourselves.
If you KNOW for a FACT that it's not any of those there is only one other option: The effect is so strong, they don't know how to react. Gregory Wilson strives for this effect. He says it is better for them to be silent than applaud.
I thought about that for a while and realized he is right. The problem is we have a switch in our heads that flops from analytical to not-so analytical. If we are thinking we are not reacting. If we are reacting we are not thinking. This is why many magicians do moves on an off beat of a joke or a question. Multi-tasking in the mind is a skill unto itself.
So if you KNOW the material is strong enough to stand on it's own and they don't give you a standing O, don't fret. Just eat it up. Stand there and soak it up until the right moment. When that happens is up to you. Let's face it. If you just faded away in the middle of the street and appeared behind them... I don't think they would be laughing and screaming and chanting your name. They would have to stop... think.. and then think some more.
Silence is golden my children. Love it, learn it, make it your own.