A common error in nervous speakers is talking too fast. Here’s some tips on how to not talk fast when giving a public speech.
How do you stop yourself talking really fast when giving a public speech? Hey, I’m Ryan from publicspeakingpower.com and in this episode, I want to give you some pointers on how to stop talking extremely quickly when you’re giving a public speech. Let me go ahead and setup this tripod for one second. We’re going to sit down and we’re going to have a heart-to-heart.
Now, a lot of people make the huge mistake when they’re giving a speech is that they talk extremely fast. We are talking super, duper fast. Like they just start rambling and talking extremely fast. I actually struggle to do it now because I’m not nervous. But when I am nervous, I start talking really quickly and people can’t understand me because I have an Australian accent and we tend to run our words together. So, what are some things that I did to help myself talking extremely quickly when giving a speech and what are some things that you can do?
The first thing to do, which is actually the main tip and the main way to stop yourself, is just be conscious of the speed that you’re talking at. When you’re giving your speech, both in practice and on the day, be conscious about how fast you are talking.
So when you’re talking, think and stop yourself. Don’t stop speaking, but in your mind, you need to be thinking, “Okay, how fast am I talking? Can people understand me or am I talking like a crazy person and just talking too fast for people to follow on?” Definitely, when I do sales videos, at the moment, that’s something that stresses me out a bit more, I tend to talk faster and I have had comments on it and so I’ve tried to be more precise in the way that I speak and the way that I deliver.
The thing is, with speaking and with slowing down your speaking, again, it comes down to practice. Unfortunately, almost everything in public speaking is like this – in that you need to practice in order to get better. You’re not going to stop speaking really quickly all of a sudden. Becoming conscious of it is the first step. And then, practicing maintaining a constant speed, maintaining a good speed when giving a speech and continually being conscious of it is really the best way to maintain a good sound when giving a public speech.
Now, this involves a certain level of confidence, a certain level of experience because when you are stressed out, when you are worried about the presentation you’re giving, when you’re worried about how you’re moving your hands, how you’re delivering your presentation, then often, the speed of your speech just gets forgotten. And so, it does take a little bit of time to say, “Okay, I’m confident enough in the way I present myself. I’m confident enough in the message that I am giving.
I am confident enough in the way that I present in terms of not saying ‘uhms’, not saying ‘aahs’, putting together coherent sentences.” All that stuff takes time and once you can become to be good at all of that stuff, like me creating this video right now. If we rewind it and went back 5 years ago, there’ll be so many things that I’d be stressed about.
How do I look? How am I presenting myself? Am I saying “uhm”? I used to say “you know” a lot. And those things would stress me out and I would be focused on them. So I wouldn’t think at all about the speed of my speech. But because I’ve had so much experience creating videos, so many experiences putting myself out there, I’m not worried about those things anymore. And so, my mind is now freed up to actually think about the speed of my speech.
And something that’s good to do when you’re at home, when you’re practicing, is to just practice talking at different speeds. So practice talking really fast just so you understand how fast “fast” is. And then, take the time to practice talking really slow. And just get control over the speed of your speech. Practice talking at a normal speed and find what is comfortable for you.
I talk faster than most people. I don’t talk as fast as some people. But I found a natural rhythm that seems to work well for me. So when you’re practicing, when you’re at home in your spare time, find the speed that works well for you. And I like to relate it to things like yoga. Because when you’re doing yoga, when you’re doing meditation, you focus in on your breathing. Now, this is not something that we do throughout our everyday life.
I could go an entire day – in fact, I could go almost months and never think about my breathing except if I’m underwater, is basically the only time that I will think about it. However, I can stop and I can focus on my breathing.
I can control my breathing. I can stop breathing if I want to for a point of time. I have control over that if I want it, but if I don’t want to have control over it, my body just goes ahead and does it. And it’s very similar when it comes to controlling how fast you speak. If you don’t control it, then your body or your mind will just do what it wants to do, and that may be talking fast in scary situations. However, you have the ability and you have the power to consciously think about the speed at which you’re talking and then to adjust that.
So practice it at home – in the privacy of your own home first. And then, when it comes to speaking in front of an audience, just take note, little conscious moments here and there to think, “How fast am I speaking? Am I doing okay?” And that should keep you on track and help you to talk at a good speed and not to talk too fast.
That’s it for me today, guys. I’m Ryan from publicspeakingpower.com. You can check out this episode and all the other episodes I’ve done by going to publicspeakingpower.com or by searching for Public Speaking Power on YouTube or iTunes. Thank you so much for watching this.
I hope that it has been helpful to you and if you have any comments or any ideas that really helped you in managing the speed of your speech, then leave them in the comments section below. So that’s it for me this time. Until next time, be less ordinary.