A common issue we see is people speaking too fast, trying to cram too much content into too little time.
Fortunately, there’s a very natural way around this. It’s something we’ve been practicing our entire lives, and we do it so naturally we don’t even realize we are doing it.
That is, watch your audience, talk to them, find their rhythms. For some reason, when people get onto the stage, they think they’re supposed to do all the talking. If someone spent the entire time at a party talking, you’d probably think, “What a jerk!” Why do we think that’s acceptable behavior when we get on the stage?
The best way to slow down is to shut up and let your audience do some talking, too. Make them answer questions, let them voice their opinions. Pause and smile at someone, they’ll probably smile at you too! (humans tend to do what they see other humans doing)
Do the same things you do when talking to people at a party or chatting with them in the hallway at work. Finding the rhythms of other humans and matching those rhythms is something you’ve probably been practicing your entire life. Use the same exact skill when you get up onto the stage.
Another perspective on speaking slower…
About Matt Krause
Matt began his professional life as an import buyer, and since 2006 has been teaching companies how to connect with their investors and clients better. His clients work in Istanbul, London, and Madrid for companies like Allianz, 3M, P&G, Citibank, and Reckitt Benckiser. He also walked across Turkey and wrote a book about it.