016 How to Pace Your Speech for The Best Possible Audience Experience

016 How to Pace Your Speech for The Best Possible Audience Experience

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Do others say you talk too fast? Learn why slowing down when speaking might be a bad idea, and how to pace your speech for the best audience experience.

00:00 Welcome to Steal The Show with Michael Port. From speeches to job interviews to deal closing pitches, how to guarantee a standing ovation for all the performances in your life. I am Michael and I’m going to demonstrate why slowing down when speaking might be bad advice. Look! I speak quickly, you may even speak quickly. And in fact, you’ve probably heard a lot of people who speak very slowly that you feel like you want to reach out and grab… You get the point. There’s a problem. A lot of the speaking coaches will tell people to slow down because they speak quickly, and I know exactly what they’re getting at. I would suggest reframing and thinking about it this way; instead of slowing down, leverage the power of the pause because the value is in the pause.

01:13 Contrast is king when it comes to getting people to pay attention. So, obviously, I speak quickly and that’s no problem, you can understand everything I’m saying and I can even pick it up faster. I can go really quick right now. In fact, a lot of the people you hear on the radio speak very quickly ’cause they need to keep your attention. But I pause, so that you can consume what I just said. Then, of course, varying vocal pace, tone, timing, that’s what keeps peoples’ attention. And you can make mistakes when you speak; you can flub your words just like I did because I’m not worried about those little things because I’m focusing on what I’m trying to get across to you, and that’s all you care about. You don’t care about me being perfect. But you care about me trying to do everything in my power to get across my message to you if it’s relevant to you. But if somebody is speaking very slowly all the time, and they don’t seem like they’re fighting, working to get their message to you. Then, you get frustrated, you get bored and you say, “Come on, come on, come on, let’s go.”

02:31 So, pausing in the right places, it creates rhythm. So, I slow down when it serves the speech to slow down. But remember how contrast creates compelling theatrical experiences. Audiences can easily absorb the most emotional points if you give them time to consume what you’ve shared. Look at the greatest comedians in the world. They often had rapid delivery. Look at Kevin Hart, [makes sound]. It’s that pace that gets you to pay attention, and then he gives the big payoff with the punchline, and there’s a big pause, and you have time to laugh. So, I want you to think about the power of the pause. I want you to think about pacing, timing. Speed is not a bad thing. Never pausing is a problem. Going too slow is also a problem. So, give your audience the opportunity to consume what you have to say. And that’s all I’m gonna say today.

03:39 Oh! But I’m gonna say one more thing. I’m gonna tell you to go to stealtheshow.com because you can pick up a copy of ‘Steal The Show’ at stealtheshow.com. You can also get free bonuses, free templates for creating stories, for molding, sculpting your stories. You can get free templates for creating your content, you can get free total immersion public speaking training; you can get free video documentary of master classes that I’ve taught including how to succeed in the business of speaking video training. You can get tickets to live events. I think if you’re interested in being a better public speaker, that should convince you to go to stealtheshow.com and pick up a copy, or multiple copies of the book. Keep thinking big about who you are and what you offer the world. This is Michale Port signing off.

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