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Ever Been Told That You Speak Too Fast?

Speak Too Fast

Have you ever worried that you speak too fast?

Check out this guy, John Moschitta Jr. He is an American actor who is famous for his ability to speak fast and has appeared in countless American commercials as well as movies and Tv shows.

Moschitta has appeared in The Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Fastest Talker and has the ability to articulate 586 words per minute!

John’s ability to speak at a very fast pace but annunciate at the same time, is a gift. Something very difficult to do but not something you need in to be able to do in your every day life.

We come across a lot of people who feel they speak too fast and unless you have John’s gift, this can risk the clarity of your words. You also risk the audience “tuning out” as they simply cannot keep up with you.

•Pace is the speed at which we speak. It can be expressed in Words Per Minute

•Conversational speech can take place as quickly as 180 – 200 wpm

 •200 wpm is too fast for presenting information

•You should aim to speak at 120 – 150 wpm

•To avoid monotony is it important to vary your pace (this is known as rate)

Focus on the clarity of your words to stop speaking too fast. Allow yourself, to take the time you need to breathe you will automatically slowdown. So it is vital to slow down and allow yourself to pause and breathe!

You also need to be mindful that you need to vary pace – a good rule to consider is to slow down for the important information and speed up for background information – classic tension/release at work.

Here’s are some useful tips on pace

A good speech is one that is memorable. A good speech is usually not too long. One of the greatest virtues a speaker can possess is brevity. This begs the question, how does one go about constructing and delivering an address to an audience?

There are some basic principles that should be observed.

  1. Never speak on a subject about which you know nothing or are in anyway unsure.
  2. Do not be tempted to give an impromptu speech until you are very experienced.
  3. Try not to make too many points.
  4. Remember rehearsal is also extremely important.

Many top speakers spend hours practicing their delivery and this is time well spent. Paying particular attention to the voice is good advice because if you are not used to speaking in public, then you will need to establish how to project and produce your voice effectively.

Here’s another example of John at his, err… “Prime”, excuse the pun 🙂

For more useful tips and ideas check out our other blogs here or contact us to see how we can help you to transform your voice and your communications.

Whilst you are here you might enjoy some of these:

Women in Sales Summit London 2019 – “Own Your Space” – Engage with Presence

Public Speaking Skills: How to Connect with Any Audience

Public Speaking Skills: The Art of Connecting with Any Audience (From Start to Finish)

When you’re thinking about the public speaking skills you need to succeed, it pays to think first and foremost about your audience. Here are seven things every audience needs to keep them hanging on your every word.

By Olivia MacDonnell, Confident Speak

Public Speaking Skills: How to Connect with Any AudienceWhen speakers are building their public speaking skills and making all the necessary preparations and arrangements for their talk, there is one thing that often happens—they might spend hours of prep on a single slide, but neglect to really prepare to serve their audience!

So if there’s one vital piece of advice to give for you in any environment where you’re talking in front of an audience—from sales presentations to staff meetings to a keynote address to a packed auditorium—make sure to take note of the following seven tips to better serve your audience.

Start thinking about your poor audience – they are busy too! and they’ve given up their time to listen to you!  This is what they need:

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 1: A Reason to Listen

An audience will not listen to you unless they know why they should – it’s as simple as that!

So, you need to make it very clear from the start why your presentation is important to them.

What’s the benefit?

What are the consequences?

They need to know WIIFM—the “what’s in it for me?” question.

Fail to take note, and you might not have an audience at all.

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 2: Life Made Really Easy for Them

When you’re doing your talk prep, make sure to structure you message simply and clearly.

If you’re inexperienced find out about basic structuring for a presentation.

I always this it’s useful to think of “the audience” as friends.

And the truth is, subconsciously no audience wants to work hard. They don’t want to wade through complex slides trying to figure out what exactly they need to do. Structure things as simply and clearly as you can to make life really easy for any audience.

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 3: Simple and User-Friendly Language

Stop using jargon and complex language—immediately!

There’s a misconception about complex language. Some people think it makes them sound more intelligent.

But the truth is it doesn’t. Jargon and complexity is much more likely to bore, alienate and frustrate your listener.

So avoid that at all costs and use a conversational style with matching language.

Believe me—it’s no less professional. In fact, it’s much more professional!

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 4: A Relevant Message

I suggest every point you make ask yourself this question.

Why would this be remotely relevant to the listener?

If you think it is or should be relevant to them, then ask yourself a second question:

How am I making this relevant and understandable to them?

Every point you make needs to be in “audience context”.

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 5: A Memorable Message

If they feel they are being talked to, as opposed to talked at, they are more likely to remember your message.

Using “I”, “we” and “our” involves the audience as if they are on the journey also, and if we are involved, suddenly things become much more memorable.

Using personal experiences, personal stories and memorable examples is a good start

There are plenty more approaches, but do avoid making stuff up.

It can be very obvious and can sound false to the audience.

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 6: To Feel That You Really Believe Your Message

If your voice lacks energy and emotion, your audience will tune out.

So ask yourself, what emotion do you want your audience to feel?

Interest? Excitement? Curiosity?

Whatever it is, you then need to convey this emotion in your voice.

It sounds like an obvious presentation skill, but just thinking about what you are saying and how you would like the audience to feel it very powerful.

So many presenters just present like they are “going through the motions”.

An audience needs and expects more.

Honing Public Speaking Skills through Audience Connection, 7: You Staying Connected From Start to Finish

There is no point having a great, memorable first 45 seconds and then revert to a complex, irrelevant message for the remainder of your presentation.

A great colleague of mine uses the analogy of a “travelator” (those flat moving stairs you see in airports) when giving a presentation.

The audience needs to step on the “travelator” at the beginning with you and move with you through your presentation and gets off the end with you.

They need to walk away from your presentation knowing what they should do, think and feel as a result of listening to your entire presentation.

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

(Main picture by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash)

 

presenting nerves

The Fear of Public Speaking? It’s a Dangerous Myth!

In Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun, the author shares one fact that I have to share with you, because it’s vital for anyone who might suffer from a fear of public speaking.

By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak

Fear of Public Speaking MythI recently read a book by Scott Berkun called Confessions of a Public Speaker.

Overall, it’s pretty good, I enjoyed it.

But I thought I’d share this little fact with you that the author discusses that I couldn’t agree more with in relation to speaking in public.

I’m sure you’ve heard or read this fact about public speaking, it goes something like this:

Did you know that people would rather die that speak in public?

 

So where has this popular fact come from?

Because I have to say that, personally, I’ve not heard of anyone taking their own life, jumping off a building or leaving a suicide note based on an upcoming presentation!

So where has this popular fact come from?

Well the source is a trivia book “Book of Lists” by David Wallechinksy.

It includes a list of things that people were afraid of.

The Top 10 List of “Worst Human Fears”

  1. Speaking in public before a group
  2. Heights
  3. Insects and bugs
  4. Financial problems
  5. Deep water
  6. Sickness
  7. Death
  8. Flying
  9. Loneliness
  10. Dogs

The problem? The fear of public speaking is a complete myth

So how do we know it’s a myth?

Firstly, let’s start with the research process itself.

The research carried out by a team of market researchers who asked 3000 Americans a simple question.

What are you most afraid of?

They allowed them to write down as many answers as they wanted. There was no list to pick from, so the survey data was far from scientific.

Secondly, no information was provided about who these people were.

Therefore we have no way of knowing if these people were representative of the rest of us.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10

If you look at the list above – heights, deep water, death, sickness and flying –  it’s probably safe to say that death should feature in the Number 1 spot!

The reality is that facts about the fear of speaking in public are often misleading because they are often quoted from people selling a service or product.

Most fear of public speaking comes from the fact that the speaker is selling something.

In addition, another factor is the frequency of the fear.

The truth is that when faced with a question like this, people tend to list fears of minor things they encounter in everyday life much more often than more fearsome but abstract experiences like dying.

After all, no-one has ever died and lived to tell the fearful story, but we often experience fear, stress and anxiety in everyday situations—such as peering over a steep cliff, or finding a massive spider in the bath, or the fear of public speaking.

And the outcome is that because these are fairly normal, regular occurrences that happen to most of us at least occasionally, our anxiety levels only increase the next time we have to experience that thing.

Conclusion?

No-one has died from giving a bad presentation!

About ConfidentSpeak

ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland.

We offer a range of voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals. Our packages are tailored for both individual and corporate level. We work with leading Irish and international companies and executives

Contact us for details by filling out this form, or call or email us via the details below.

Telephone:- +353 1 9696056

Email: info@confidentspeak.com

Enjoyed this post? Here are two more blogs about the fear of public speaking and other performance anxiety

https://www.confidentspeak.com/how-to-harness-the-fear-and-make-it-work-to-your-advantage/