Do you suffer from “STQ” SPEAKING TOO QUICKLY”, or “STS” SPEAKING TOO SLOWLY”?
The general assumption is that people who speak very quickly are very intelligent. This is a MYTH. The listener has to absorb their message before they can assume that the speaker is very smart. Many speakers just chatter away, often not articulating their message clearly or logically. They just ramble on irrationally not sticking to the topic, going off on tangents or changing their topic mid-sentence with no pause. They are like a racing car driving off the course as they rush to the finish line.
The normal conversational speech is about 160-180 words per minute. If you speak faster then your words automatically slide into one another and what you’re saying becomes unintelligible.
SPEAKING TOO SLOWLY
The opposite assumption is that people who speak very slowly are less intelligent. This is a MYTH. Many highly intelligent people speak at a much slower pace. If you speak slower than 160 words per minute you may bore your listeners.
So, here are two one-step cures for talking too fast or too slow.
1. If you speak too fast, enunciate every word clearly. This automatically reduces your speed and makes your speech effective and comprehensible.
2. If you speak too slowly, time how long it takes you to read one page from a book. Then read it again with the purpose of reducing the time by 10 seconds.
One of the best tools for improving your voice is a tape recorder. Listening to your voice is invaluable.
Another Voice Dynamic skill to acquire is to try to increase your tonal varieties from 3 or 4 to many more. A professional speaker employs a minimum of 25-50 tonal varieties.
Find something to read out loud in a wildly exaggerated fashion swinging your voice up and down while you read words and phrases. Don’t forget to read aloud with your voice rising and falling.
The Voice Dynamics of a Professional Speaker are intricate and infinite. It is worth the time spent on developing a strong, clear and confident voice as a lifelong skill.