Monthly Archives: July 2016

Slow Down! 5 Reasons Why Slower Speech is Worth Your Time

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

Speaking more slowly can address a short, but annoying, list of communication challenges – such as junk words, babbling, loss of listener interest and communication confusion. Even if it only works on the first entry, that alone would justify stopping everything right now to speak just a bit more s l o w ly. Well, not that slow. Still:

  • Speaking at a measured pace can help you reduce the use of junk words such as you know (sometimes enunciated as “yyho”), um, and the nails-on- chalkboard scourge, “like.”
  • It gives your brain a few nanoseconds to gather your thoughts, letting you continually choose your direction, respond to listener cues and drive your words more accurately.
  • Slower speech has been shown to be more persuasive in many situations.
  • Slower speech conveys thoughtfulness, deliberation and confidence.
  • It lets others follow you more easily, especially when you are communicating a layered idea or a story with a turn or two in it.

Whether you’re conversing or presenting, people remember and respond to only a portion of what you are saying. Most fast-talkers try to cover too much ground, or they’re repeating themselves. Either way, express delivery wastes most of those words.

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The Case Against Uptalk?

doubt and confusion concept - portrait of dubious beautiful 20s girl in reflection,seeking for solutions,studio shot on gray background

Here’s my three-part case against ending too many sentences with a question mark? And a hack for breaking the habit.

I get why criticizing a form of speech originally identified with young women could be considered patronizing, or judgmental. There’s an argument that it’s natural for women to lean toward questioning and collaboration, and uptalk reflects that. But now it’s common across age, genders and cultures to end declarative sentences with a questioning tone.

Sure, an occasional uplift in tone can sound friendly, likeable and inclusive. Yet, its constant use undermines the clarity, presence and authority of the speaker.

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