Find and Power Your Authentic Voice – Lesson 4 – Pace

Your speaking pace, or speed, is a critical tool to effectively keep your audiences engaged (audio version of this blog post can be heard here). Speaking too quickly may leave your audience behind. Speaking too slowly may lull the audience into dozing off. And there are those who speak at a “normal” pace which is not enough to keep the audience engaged. Speaking at the same good pace is monotonous.

Speaking pace

To get a handle on your speaking pace start recording yourself in different situations. With today’s smartphones there’s no reason why you can’t frequently record yourself. Play back the recordings with some trusted friends who aren’t afraid to give you an honest opinion about your pace. I always recommend you do it separately with at least three different people to get a better perspective and response. To slow down or speed up will take daily practice over several weeks. Record yourself at the end of every week keeping the prior recordings as reference points.

Once you are accomplished at speaking at a “normal” pace, start learning how to vary your pace. For example, if you’re describing something exciting then pick up the pace. If you’re relating something sad or serious slow down the pace. In both cases be sure you are speaking clearly. Varying your pace can happen with a couple of words or an entire sentence. A key tip in learning how to vary your pace is to pay attention and utilize all the punctuation marks. For example a comma would be a shorter pause than a period. An — would represent a longer pause. I refer to a question mark as a hanging pause — let your audience ponder.

punctuation marks

Your effective use of varied pace coupled with your ability to vary your pitch as outlined in prior blogs are two techniques to find and power your authentic voice. Now, with Practice, Practice, Practice, you too can effectively engage any size audience.

PRACTICE    PRACTICE    PRACTICE

 

Blumsack Brown BackgroundAs a coach, trainer and consultant, Larry Blumsack partners with people and organizations on the move and those already there to accelerate their communication, presentation and speaking skills to be on par with their ambition. Through one-on-one coaching and group training Larry helps leaders and aspiring leaders elevate their presence and communication skills to influence more people, sell more products-services-ideas and inspire others more successfully than they ever imagined.

Larry is the bestselling author of Face-to-Face is The Ultimate Social Media and founder of Zoka Institute and Zoka Training®. Zoka Training® — Mind/Voice/Body/Mindfulness in sync — is the result of Larry’s 45 years as a coach, acting teacher, actor, voice-over artist, theater and TV director/producer, radio & TV commentator and show host, speaker, trainer, serial entrepreneur, and syndicated columnist. Larry was a founding member of the theater department at Northeastern University.

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