In public speaking the pace or speed of your speaking is important, especially the variety of it
Read the sentence below silently. Then read it aloud, trying to picture with your tones, face, and body language exactly what took place:
The ancient automobile chugged as though each turn of the wheel could be the last. But slowly, very slowly, it crept up the mountainside.
It reached the top and then began down. Faster, and faster, and faster, it went. On and on it rushed just like a blurred black streak to the turn at the foot of the mountain. Then suddenly the automobile swerved from the road and crashed into a big tree!
While you speak about the trip up the mountain your rate of speaking will certainly be slower than once you talk about the sprint down. This demonstrates an important aspect of variety, change of rate, or variation in speed during a speech.
When an idea calls for a change of rate, vary the speed of your speaking, not robotically, obviously, but in keeping with the natural concept of the idea that is being expressed. When you talk about a fast thrilling game of football, make the players move with your voice and manner. But if you talk about idle sheep in a field, naturally your voice is going to be lazy and slow. It is as fundamental as that, but many speakers totally neglect this important principle of variety and say everything at about the same rate.
When you say, “The car crashed into a tree!” make it sound like a crash, nothing like a kid peeling a banana. This is another essential kind of variation in speaking – force, or lack of it.
I’ll be writing more in my next post about variety in public speaking to capture the audience’s attention. If you want to learn more about speaking with confidence please check out the resource here: speaking with confidence