Public Speaking Skills:
Give Me a Brake
... a mental brake that is.
Remember the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Slow down you move too fast..."?
The same can be said when using your public speaking skills, most people tend to talk too fast (unless y'all be from Aaalllaaaabbbaaammmaaa).
Here are some things to remember when you tend to speak too fast.
Imagine that your audience is comprised of 5 year olds and you have to explain some difficult concept to them. You must obviously go slowly so they can understand you. Like with a child, don't talk down at them, but slowly and carefully talk with them. Slowly lift and enlighten their minds with learning from your words.
Force yourself to use difficult, but memorable, word combinations which will force you to slow down so that you don't stutter over them.
When conducting these public speaking skill sessions, do specific exercises concentrating on varying the speed of your delivery so that you get a better control over this aspect of your talks. Remember silence also communicates, so with "fertile minds", use "pregnant pauses".
Also, when you vary the speed you make it more interesting automatically.
You must do these practice sessions out loud. I repeat, you must practice voice pacing and inflection out loud. Even use a digital recorder to play back and be your own "worst critic" or your first level professional speaking coach.
To save time, the voice pacing exercises can be done in the car, or while doing your hair or jogging, etc. Sure, folks will see you at times and wonder about your sanity, but when they hear your public speaking skills in their presentations, they will likely remember "WOW"!
When using these public speaking skills, often "less is more", so cut out some of your material so that you do not feel rushed to get it all in one speech.
Going faster is usually futile because the retention level drops so low that you may as well have omitted the material in the first place.
This type of public speaking skill is meant to be slowly savored, to have the message linger long in the minds of those with an ear to hear.
Copyright © 1998 - 2005