Last week, we discussed how your intonation can affect how people perceive you and how they receive your message. In this post, we will continue our discussion on non-verbal skills and focus on how your rate of speech can positively or negatively affect your communication.
Many people, when nervous or excited, tend to speak too quickly. Not only does this make your words difficult to understand, but it will also convey to the listener that you are not confident in yourself or your message. However, using a controlled, even rate of speech rather than rushing through your words will help you to appear confident and knowledgeable about the topic on which you’re speaking. As you speak, occasionally take note of how quickly you are speaking. Does your listener look confused or overwhelmed? Are your words clear and understandable? Focus on slowing down and speaking at a comfortable, relaxed rate.
One factor that can positively affect your rate of speech is pausing. Throughout your speech, it is crucial that you stop and pause at appropriate times. How long of a pause you should take will depend on the circumstances. For example, you might pause briefly between sentences, but may take a longer, more obvious pause when shifting topics or emphasizing an important point. Pausing occasionally while speaking will not only help you to slow down, but will give your audience a chance to fully process the information. Taking the time to pause will also help you to control your breath support. Each time you take a significant pause, take a deep breath. Maintaining strong breath support will help you to maintain a steady powerful volume and tone, helping you to come across as clear and confident.
Need more personalized help in developing your communication skills? Visit us at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com and let our staff of trained and certified speech-language pathologists set you on the road to better speech and communication today.