Each week, on Monday, I’m going to offer a little “Monday Morning Quick Tip” for you. These will be short posts with quick action items that you can do right away to start improving your speeches and presentations.
Our first quick tip comes as a result of something that I just now experienced. I just watched a video with some really awesome content from Internet Marketing Guru Jeff Johnson. He offers some really interesting insight into how to drive blog traffic. Unfortunately, he does it at absolute light-speed. Jeff’s content is really powerful, he makes an unreal amount of money, and he is interested in sharing his secrets. But it all goes so quickly that it’s almost hard to listen to him.
In order for a presentation to be really effective, you need to slow things down. People are drawn to calm, slow voices. It helps to build trust, and command authority. Rapid speech often signals a lack of confidence, and people associate rapid delivery with slick-ass sales people, auctioneers, and the like.
So, slow down. People won’t stop listening to you. What you have to say is important.
Try this: Grab something to record your voice, and turn it on. Take a deep breath, all the way into your diaphragm. Begin to exhale, and read the paragraph above (the one that begins “In order for a presentation…”) aloud. Listen to the recording. Are you going too quickly? Turn the recorder back on, take another deep breath, begin to exhale, and read the paragraph again. This time, pause for an extra long time between words, and carefully enunciate each word. Listen to your recording. Repeat this technique, reducing the amount of time you spend between each word until things start to sound more natural on the recording.
At first, it will feel really strange to speak more slowly. But, eventually, you’ll get the hang of it. You will begin to sound increasingly authoritative, and your audience will be able to both follow along more easily, and trust you more completely.
Got any more tips for how to slow things down? Leave ‘em in the comments!