Reality Check : Are you Ruining Your Message by Talking too Fast?
No matter how much effort you have put into researching your presentation and organizing the well-thought-out message in a comprehensible manner, it all goes in vain if you don’t deliver it aptly in front of the audience. One of the most common mistakes most of the speakers commit is – speaking too fast. Talking too fast is similar to leaving no white space between two words while writing; the audience will not understand the message in both cases.
If you are also a fast talker and under the misapprehension that your audience deems you a smart and intelligent speaker, it’s the high time for a reality check. Speaking fast can do more harm than good and has many downsides.
Take a look!
1. The Clarity of the Message Gets Vanished
When you fly through your words, you forget to take hold of the engaging tone and clear articulation of words. When you start speaking, your audience initially exerts effort to listen to you carefully, but as you proceed further, they lose their interest in your speech and end up nodding at what is being said, without grabbing even a single point or misunderstanding the entire message.
2. It Leaves a Negative Impression
Not pausing while delivering the speech is an indication of jitters, impatience, nervousness, lack of confidence, and stage fright. The audience may perceive you as an ignorant who has not much knowledge of the subject matter and who is trying to rush through the message to get the presentation over as quickly as possible. It also gives the impression that whatever message you want to deliver is not important, or you don’t want the audience to pay heed to it.
Helpful Hacks to Avoid Speaking Too Fast
Here are some tips to slow down your pace and make a meaningful connection with your audience.
1. Listen to Good Speakers
Listen to public speakers, commencement speeches, TED talks, radio presenters, or other speakers to whom you admire. Take note of the pace and effectiveness of their speech throughout the presentation and reciprocate it in your speech.
2. Practice to Slow Down Your Speaking Speed
When you practice, ask your friend to record your speech. Listen to it conscientiously and take note of the places where you need to pause. Rehearse again with pauses and keep doing so until you get closer to perfection.
3. Make Eye Contact with the Audience
One of the ways that can help you slow down a bit is locking your eyes with one individual at a time while speaking, rather than glancing at all the audience. After delivering one or two statements, move to another individual, lock eyes, and deliver the next statements. This way, you will be able to understand the body language of the audience and get a clue where you need to pause.
4. Use a Timing Device or App
If you are not a fast talker but deliver your speech at a fast speed just to cover all the points in the given time frame, you can consider using timing apps, such as Presentation Timer Pro, Speaker Clock, etc. These apps give you notifications about the remaining time of the presentation. Some devices like Wireless Presenter Remote allow you to set vibration alerts so that you can make adjustments in the speaking speed on the fly.
5. Ask the Audience to Remind You
If you have a habit of speaking fast, you can let your audience know about it and ask them to remind you to take a pause. You can say it like this way before starting the speech: “I speak a bit fast. Please feel free to let me know when I fly with words, and I will slow down.”
6. Breathing Technique
Deep inhaling and exhaling five times after delivering an idea and before putting forward the next one can do wonders for you and help you pause naturally.
The Bottom Line
Speed matters when you talk. If you speak too slow, it can frustrate your audience. And if you talk too fast, the audience will not be able to connect with you and comprehend your message. So, your speech pace should be somewhere between these two. The average conversation speed for presenters is between 120 – 150 words per minute. However, you can vary the pace to make the presentation more interesting and compelling. So, match the pace of your voice with the power of your words and steal the show!
Do you have more tips for fast talkers? If yes, do share with us in the “Comment” section. If you find this blog post valuable, like it and share it through Facebook and Twitter.