Speaking too quickly is a problem not just for those of us who hail from one of the Mid-Atlantic States, it is a problem as well for many whose 1st language is not English. One of the fastest talkers I’ve encountered in the thousands with whom I have worked was a man from Portugal. But India and some of the Asian countries can also produce speed demons.

Learning how to control your speed – notice I didn’t say speak slowly – should be your goal if you are being asked to repeat yourself a lot or your listeners’ eyes glaze over as they try to keep up with you.

There is a speaker in Toronto, Canada who believes that you should speak as fast as possible when addressing an audience. In my opinion, that is wrong. If I have to struggle to keep up with the speaker, I will eventually stop listening. Speaking at 100 mph is tiring for both the speaker and the audience. If you want your listeners to keep their attention on you, then it is important to temper your speed.

Gaining control over your speed means that you will:

    1. talk more distinctly, no matter what language you are speaking;
    2. make fewer mistakes;
    3. feel more relaxed;
    4. stand a better chance of keeping your audience’s attention;

Good rate of speech is somewhere between 140 and 180 words per minute; however, it all depends on the type of material about which you are speaking. If you were to describe a frightening experience to someone, you would probably speak faster than if you were analyzing the theory of relativity to a body of students.

While my goal for you is to gain control of your speed, I do not want you speaking too slowly. Without a doubt, I would prefer too fast to too slow. Speaking too slowly is more than cumbersome for your listeners and is the best means of putting your audience to sleep or being interrupted frequently.

One method of tempering your speed is to practice reading in time with a professional reader from an audio book. Another means is to learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm and discover your ‘real’ voice. Once you are using your chest to power your sound, you will slow down automatically.

If you are interested in discovering your richer, warmer, more mature sound, then voice training is the answer. Not only will you be able to control your speed, but you will actually have control your volume, your pitch, and your nervousness as well! It is a win-win situation in every way.

Author's Bio: 

The Voice Lady, Nancy Daniels, offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It! the only video training on voice improvement. If you would like to see some a dramatic 'before' & 'after' video clips, start with Craig by visiting Nancy's Voice Training Website in the center of the page. Then check out other Before & After video clips in the menu bar.