Have you ever been at a networking event and struggled to understand someone’s business pitch because they were too fast?
In today’s busy world it is very tempting to rush our communications but this is often counter-productive.
So why are some people too rapid and others quite controlled?
Well it can just be your habit which causes the problem. We are not born with rapid speech, we ‘learn’ our pace from others around us when we are young, and when we are adult, to fit our situation.
The science behind this is interesting. I regularly work with individuals who have lost control of their pace and a substantial percentage of them focus on NUMBERS in their daily life. Jobs that involve working with images and figures often require a fast, calculating brain that does not need words that often. When information needs to be communicated orally it is very fast as the brain is still doing calculations. This can also result in incomplete sentences as the mind is taking the person onto their next thought before they finish the first one!
The other main reason for rapid speech comes from some UK accents which are, in essence, fast. In a very general sense, Northern accents are rather staccato (i.e. some vowels are shortened) and this can cause the finished words to sound clipped, but you will have your own ideas of the ones which you find too fast for easy understanding.
So, what can you do if you want to slow down?
- USE PAUSES – Think about the punctuation. Use it in your spoken English the same way as you do in written English.
- FINISH OFF YOUR WORDS – A lot of confusion in communication is caused by inaccuracy and short-cutting. Remember that some accents result in very LAZY SPEECH.
- THINK about what you are saying. If you are really focussing on the words you are less likely to start a new thought before completing the previous one.
- CONSIDER THE LISTENER – If you think about what others are receiving rather than what you need to deliver, this can help you to slow down.
- When NETWORKING, remember that LESS IS MORE. don’t try to say everything. Make one important point but be MEMORABLE in your delivery.
- When you RUSH, the listener cannot follow everything you say because they cannot process it. FAST PACE = UNPRODUCTIVE COMMUNICATION.
Finally, if all else fails, come and see me or book a SKYPE session. Don’t be a gabbler. When someone’s speech is out of control, that perception can be applied to them as a person too.
Have a great month!
Speak Loud & Clear!