Have you ever attended a keynote address or conference where the speaker rang out as if they were trying to finish a 2 hour worth of material in 15 minutes? You’re tired, right?
Or have you ever been in one of the endless lectures where the speaker speaks slowly every word in large round letters from a drone? Hey, sleep after the first speaker must have been good for you, right?
What you are experiencing is speaking in public at a bad pace.
Okay, enough with adaptation and stupidity. The problem, however, is poor speed. (Oh, sorry about that.) I’m going to explain in this article why speed is so important when giving a talk. Or at least I’ll give you five reasons to consider your speed when I speak to you in public.
1. Changing your pace will help keep your audience interested. One of the reasons why drone professors do such boring lectures is because their speed is stable. It does not matter if it is very fast or slow. But keeping your pace steady ensures that your audience deserves to be shouted at. Your voice is your tool. For the sake of interest, sometimes you need to play the measure fast, and sometimes you need to play it slowly.
2. Your speed affects the ability of your audience to follow what you say. If you talk too much too soon, your audience will have trouble following what you say. Basically, your speaking ability quickly tires them out and they wander off looking for a little easier stimulus to follow. If you speak too slowly, your audience will become lazy and wander around looking for more stimulation.
3. Your pace shows your passion for your subject. When we experience intense emotion we naturally begin to speak fast. When we are thoughtful, our speech slows down. You can use your speed to show your emotions to your audience. Your emotions make you more human. And they make your subject more clearly important. If you release your emotions, your audience will accept you better and your pace will change naturally.
4. Your speed affects your nervousness. Strong emotions affect the speed of your speech. It also includes fear. But it is a two way street. When you are scared – like speaking in public – you naturally start talking quickly. If you talk too soon, you will only strengthen your fears. It becomes a circle of strengthening.
5. Apprentices finish sooner or later. One of the things you as a professional speaker always need to do is finish on time. Of course, no one is perfect, but the faster you go, the harder it will be to predict how long your story will last. The true story must predict how long it will last. For that, you need to be able to identify where you are going to be emotional and where you are going to be thoughtful.