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Give Me a Brake

... a mental brake that is.

Do you recall the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Slow down you move too fast..."?

That same message can be said when mastering your skills in your public speaking course, most people tend to talk too fast (unless y'all be from Aaalllaaaabbbaaammmaaa).

Here are some tips to use if you tend to speak too fast.

Imagine that your audience is filled with 5 year olds and you have to explain some difficult concept to them. You must obviously speak slower so they can understand what you are trying to say. Don't talk down at them, but slowly and carefully talk with them. Slowly lift and enlighten their minds with the message you have for them.

Force yourself to use difficult, but memorable, word combinations which will force you to slow down so that you don't stumble over them.

When practicing during your public speaking course, do specific exercises that concentrate on varying the speed of your delivery so you have better control over your talks. Remember silence also communicates, so with "fertile minds", use "pregnant pauses".

Also, when you vary the speed of your presentation you make it more interesting automatically.

You must do these practice sessions out loud. I repeat, you must practice voice pacing and inflection out loud. You can even use a digital recorder to play back and be your own "worst critic" or your first level professional speaking coach.

To save time, the voice pacing exercises can be done in the car, or while doing your hair or jogging, etc. Sure, folks will see you at times and wonder about your sanity, but when they hear what you sound like after practicing in your public speaking course, they will likely remember "WOW"!

Often "less is more", so cut out some of your material so that you do not feel rushed to get it all in one speech.

Going faster is usually useless because the retention level drops so low that you may as well have not even said the material in the first place.

Your presentation is meant to be slowly savored, to have the message linger long in the minds of those with an ear to hear.


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