Setting out to make yourself a little bit famous – on panels, speaking at events, making your own video or even appearing on TV and radio – can feel daunting. Nerves can wreak havoc with our performance and one common problem I see when I’m training people is that they speak too quickly as a result.
Most of the time they are aware of it, but struggle to slow their delivery because to them, it’s like they’re suddenly speaking at half speed, the verbal equivalent of being in slo-mo.
But speak too fast and you get your words muddled, leave sentences unfinished and get in a brain tangle (a brangle?). Ultimately you don’t land your point well and you can’t guarantee you’ve been understood – what a waste of effort and time.
So how about a daily reminder? Bizarrely I got this one from the instructor on my Speed Awareness Course (don’t judge me, it was late, I didn’t know the area etc…)
Watch my video about SLOW-ing down when you speak:
Just a thought…
Speaking more slowly is a great way to come across as cucumber-cool. But what if nerves and adrenaline threaten to take your mouth over the speed limit? (Which is 30 mph in a built up area btw.)
Try this inhale/exhale technique I learned from dietitian Celynn Morin, who frankly knows a lot more than I do about keeping sane and healthy under duress.
Take a deep breath to fill your belly, in through your nose, over two counts…INHALE one, two.
Then breathe out, through your mouth, over four counts…EXHALE one, two, three, four.
It’s free, you can do it anywhere (like right now) to help slow you down. It apparently gives us a shot of the hormone oxytocin, which combats adrenaline and makes us feel quite lovely.