GREAT SPEAKERS NEWSLETTER - September 5, 2014
HELP - I Don't Seem To Be Able To Get It Right
TWO SURPRISING TOOLS FOR CONFIDENT SPEAKING --Slowing Down and Pausing.
Most speakers talk too fast (as do nervous and insecure actors).
When you slow down, your steady and relaxed manner engenders confidence in you and your message.
It means you believe what you are saying. It means you don't mind that the audience sees who you are between the words. It means you care that people come on this journey with you because you are taking time to include them.
I hear cries of agony from people trying to slow down. I understand that It is a hard habit to break but it is one that many speakers use to avoid contact with the audience. Some of us feel we have to hurry up because we are not interesting enough. Some want to get it over with for other reasons --our material sucks, we're not good enough, we hope no one asks us questions. Insecure actors just want to get off the stage as quickly as possible so no one will notice the mistakes they've made. Is that you? One of the best results that comes with slowing down is an important element necessary for an audience to trust you and your message --CONFIDENCE.
Is what you have to say of value to the audience? If you don't think so, it will show LOUD AND CLEAR. Your confidence in your message will be conveyed through taking your time. Speaking quickly or looking down or quietly reading off the page won't help but SLOWING DOWN WILL. How do you do this? You must get more and more comfortable with it by practicing. That means every night you read out loud SLOWLY.
The best way to start is to read some text one word at a time. This means there is a very slight pause between EACH word. Give each word a whole second or more and clearly enunciate the beginnings and endings of each word. Don't rush over those A's or And's. It's truly torture, I am told, but so rewarding on so many levels. It will give you a real sense of how slowly you need to go to be effective. The goal is NOT to end up speaking the on-word-at-a-time slowly. It is to eventually make you comfortable to talk slower than you have and enjoy your message and your audience
Besides exhibiting confidence, why is slowing down so important?
- The audience has not heard you before, they need to catch up.
- The audience needs a moment to be with you and feel you and trust you.
- You need to focus on the audience and listen to them and adjust accordingly. The energy travels back and forth like a conversation.
- You will find new meaning in every word and it will give depth to your speech, making it memorable.
In other words, the audience will feel taken care of, and listened to and important as well.
I am always astonished at the results this approach produces. The look on the speaker's or actor's face is so touching. They show an understanding of the words and the meaning beneath the text that was not there before. And they are aware of the audience in a way they weren't before.
Next NEWSLETTER - THE POWER OF PAUSING.