|We're excited about our first edition of The Public Speaking Wire. This newsletter is dedicated to all my former and future public speaking students, and anyone interested in better presentation skills. We'll present periodic musings, observations and helpful hints to help you hone your presentation skills.
You'll also find a quick, fun survey on public speaking. We hope you enjoy this sample issue and we invite you to sign up for future editions.
|Don't be a motor mouth|
I recently went to an off-Broadway show presented by one of New York's better theater companies. One of the leads was speaking so fast that you couldn't get his words straight. At certain points in the play his breakneck speed was forcing the other actors to increase their pace in order to keep up with him. Bottom line: the audience lost a number of good lines.
Following the show, one of the people in my party complained to a theatre staff member that it was difficult to follow the dialogue. Then, another theatre-goer voiced the same concern. The staff member acknowledged that there was a problem.
Why we speed
Speeding can often be the result of stage fright or nervousness. It can also occur when your mind is miles ahead of your mouth.
Solution: hit the brakes
Are you a speeder? If you find yourself speaking a mile a minute use these visualization tricks to slow down:
- Imagine a speeding car. Visualize a speed bump, "Slow," or "Stop sign ahead."
- Just as with a car, slow down your pace, and break for the stop sign.
- Use the stop sign - in this case a period at the end of the sentence - to breathe.
This may feel uncomfortable at first. But once you get used to speaking at a slower pace, and taking a breath at the end of each sentence, people will follow you with greater ease. Best of all, you will be in control of the speed!
Don't forget to take a breath before each sentence--breathing is essential to sounding good.