I was at a conference once, where several of the speakers were talking way too quickly…
and I must say it is something I sometimes do – especially when I get excited and carried away with my talk! So writing this article on speaking too quickly and giving presentations tips on how to slow down when you make a business presentation is for my own benefit as much as anyone else’s.
Firstly make sure you have the structure and content to support a nice pace. If you don’t have a structure yet, check out the Preparing for Business Presentations: Structuring Your Presentation Blog, where I explain my recommended 4MAT structure in great detail.
Assuming you have that right here are a few tips to slowing down when making a presentation and not speaking too quickly:
Remember to have a glass of water handy – when you want to re-gather your thoughts, slowly wander over to your glass of water and take a sip. Keep any notes next to the glass of water so you can easily glance down and check where you are, especially to check how you are doing for time so you remain on track.
If you are more of an auditory person rather than the book metaphor – imagine your presentation as a piece of music or a song. At the end of each bar, take a mini pause before launching into the next. At the end of each line take a short pause and add a rest every so often. Add in a long pause at the end of each verse, culminating with a crescendo at the end.
Use the chorus to remind people of where you are and where you are going.
Presenting for some can be nerve-racking, but there are a number of ways that I can help you or your teams become a calm, confident, fear-free public speaker.
Simply Amazing Training offers professional presentation skills training courses for companies and individuals. Have a look at our Guide to our most popular training courses and presentation skills workshops or call me today for a chat to discuss; we recognise that all of our clients are different and have different needs when it comes to their in house company training courses.
Think about the speakers you admire, and you’ll notice that they share a common trait: they have all mastered how to use effective pauses. The humble pause is often overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be …
The presentation is your chance to shine. You are away from the constraints of just answering questions.
“What’s your X-Factor?”
Treat it as your opportunity to show others what makes you unique.
Recently we ran an event for the 40 members of the global sales team of a multi-national, working with them to ‘Tame their Public Speaking Monkeys’ and help them increase their confidence when presenting.