The thought of standing in front of a group of people and delivering a speech can make your heart race and your palms sweat. And if you’re someone who tends to speak quickly, the prospect of public speaking can be even more daunting.
Speaking slowly is a skill that can be learned with practice. It’s important to remember that speaking slowly doesn’t mean speaking quietly or monotonously. It simply means finding a balance between speed and pauses and using your voice inflection to maintain interest and engagement.
Tips for Speaking Slower When Public Speaking
1. Avoid Connecting Phrases With “And”
Your beginning lines are crucial to forecast the rest of your talk. Unfortunately, many people run these together by using too many “ands.” Use a different conjunction because “and” will only make you directly link two phrases, making a short break in between impossible.
2. Use Pauses Strategically
Pausing is an important part of speaking slowly. It gives your audience time to process what you’ve said and allows you to gather your thoughts so you can control the pacing of your speech. Use pauses after key points or to emphasize a certain word or phrase, this will also help you remain calm and collected because it will give you time to breathe.
3. Be Concise
Lack of preparation and practice will have you rambling on and on in an effort to fill time. This will only make you speak faster due to the feeling of needing to hurry and get through everything. Be concise in your delivery by knowing what points you want to hit and sticking to them.
4. Listen to Yourself
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to actually listen to the rate at which you’re speaking. When practicing, record yourself to know how fast you speak and then adjust accordingly. This method will help you achieve an optimal speed that doesn’t sacrifice the flow and rhythm of your speech.
5. Exercise Your Breathing
When we get nervous, our breathing gets shallow and fast. This only exacerbates the feeling of anxiety and can cause you to speak quickly. Proper breathing is key to maintaining a slow and steady pace. Exercise your breathing by inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth. This will help you relax before and during your speech every time you pause.
Practicing these tips will help you learn how to speak slower when public speaking and make your anxiety disappear. Remember, being nervous is natural but you can use these techniques to control the pacing of your speech so you can deliver a confident and polished performance.
Why is Speaking Slowly in Public Speaking Important?
Speaking slowly is not necessarily required in public speaking, but it can be very helpful in certain situations, especially for those who have a habit of speaking quickly during nerves or excitement. It’s not applicable to all types of speeches and speakers, but if it’s something you’re interested in trying, here are a few reasons why it can be beneficial:
1. It Helps You Be Understood
Rambling on quickly can make it difficult for your audience to understand what you’re saying, especially if they’re not familiar with the topic. Speaking slowly gives them time to process and follow along with your train of thought.
2. It Gives You Time to Breathe
When you’re nervous, it’s common to speak quickly because you feel like you need to hurry and get through everything. This can cause you to run out of breath and make you sound breathless and panicky. Slower speech provides you the opportunity to catch your breath and avoid this difficulty.
3. It Helps You Emphasize Important Points
If there’s something important you want to emphasize in your speech, speaking slowly will help you stress the importance of that point. This is especially useful for important conclusions or calls to action.
Though your pacing will always depend on the situation, knowing how to speak slowly can give you an extra tool in your public speaking arsenal.
Giving speeches can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re a fast talker. By practicing the tips mentioned throughout this article, you will be able to effectively slow down your speech and give an excellent presentation that your listeners will remember. We hope this guide has been helpful – good luck!