Have you ever been told that you talk “too fast?” Many of my clients have heard this feedback more than once. Unfortunately, merely slowing down to try to appease others can be uncomfortable. It often makes us feel like we’re holding ourselves back – and it is not all that effective.
When a client says that they’ve been told they talk too fast, I generally suspect that two opposing forces are at play. On one hand, you may be a very fast thinker, and your talking speed is simply lining up with your thinking speed. On the other hand, your Soul Suckers may also be taking the reigns and forcing you to speak even faster in an attempt to outrun the possibility of other people’s boredom. When these two phenomena occur at the same time, that’s usually when someone speaks at such a rapid pace that others repeatedly ask them to slow down. Here’s a more effective approach:
First, get honest with yourself about all of the things influencing your fast-talking. Release the Soul Suckers telling you that you need to outrun the boredom of others. When we attempt to outrun other people’s boredom, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They can tell we don’t trust ourselves, and they lose interest. You are engaging. Period. You don’t need to speak fast to engage people.
Second, if you are a fast thinker – fantastic! Rather than attempting to s…l…o…w d…o…w…n, try meeting other people exactly where they are. Step seven on the Vocal Presence Path™ is to take people along for the ride. In order to do that, you need to listen to the other half of the conversation, the non-verbal responses, even when you’re doing most or all of the talking. When you listen to what’s happening underneath and in-between the words in order to take your listeners with you on a journey, you will automatically speak at the pace that works for both of you.
Try these two simple changes in a meeting or formal speech. Then let me know how it goes.
All my best,
PS: Are You Ready for the Next Step on the Vocal Presence Path?
If you’re ready to take the next step, sign up for a Breathe Deep & Breakthrough Session. A FREE Session to help you embrace your gifts, acknowledge your strengths and assess areas for improvement.