Monday, November 27, 2023

How To Slow Down Speech

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Approach It Like City Driving: Vary Your Speed

I speak too fast! 5 ways to slow down your speech.

Whether youre on a first date or presenting a project to your board, keep your speech moving. That would be strange and possibly creepy. Instead, adjust your speaking to have natural and dramatic pacing to keep your audiences attention.

Image: Speakerhub

If you practice reading poetry aloud, this can also help you with pacing. Your ultimate goal isnt to hit a certain w/pm. Instead, youre working on adjusting your speech to be more charismatic.

Pro Tips:

  • Dont try and cram all your information into a short amount of time.
  • Cut information, or make it more concise so you can slow down.
  • Increase speed to emphasize a sense of urgency.
  • If your goal is a connection , speaking fast may not accomplish that.

Action Steps for Your Next Date:

  • Remember that you dont have to say everything at once. You have time with this person and can share your thoughts and feelings over time.
  • Slow yourself down by listening.Ask your date a question, and then listen. Interact with what theyve said, but keep asking questions, so you arent doing all the talking.
  • Slow yourself down by taking a sip of your drink. If you find yourself racing through an answer, take a sip of your drink, pause, and take a breath to slow down consciously.
  • Use your hand as a metronome. If youre still talking too fast, slowly tap your hand or finger on your leg to help you slow down. Make sure to do this out of sight .

Fast Talkers: How To Slow Down In Front Of An Audience

I got an email from a guy with a broken computer. It looked like this:


Notice the lack of white space between words, and how hard it is to concentrate on the content of the message.

When you speak too fast, you do the same thing with your spoken words. You don’t leave any nice spaces of silence between phrases and sentences, thus making your listeners work too hard.

Remember the key problem: listeners are intrinsically lazy. If you don’t make it easy for them, they won’t exert themselves to listen. Or if they do, they soon tire and tune you out. This is a serious problem for you, the speaker, because people draw conclusions about you based on how you speak, write and think…in that order.

Lord Chesterfield summed it up nicely. “The manner of your speaking is full as important as the matter, as more people have ears to be tickled than understanding to judge.”

Science bears him out. There is clear evidence that fast talkers get credit for being smart, but they are also widely criticized behind their backs.

People interpret fast talking as a sign of nervousness and a lack of self-confidence. Your fast talking can make it appear that you don’t think people want to listen to you, or that what you have to say is not important.

Also, take deep pleasure in enunciating each resonant vowel and delicious consonant. Give your lips and tongue the assignment of shaping every lovely syllable.

Are You Breaking The Speaking Speed Limit Here’s How To Slow Down

Hey, fast talker . . . speaking too fast for anyone to keep up? Here’s how to slow down so listeners can enjoy listening to you AND take a breath!


Sorry . . . I just couldn’t resist that. Actually, I’m not done. Here’s a variation of the above:

Doyoutalk too fast forpeopletounderstand what you’re saying?

I call that “word bunching.” As you can see, it means that only some of what is said gets mashed together, while some words and phrases can still be heard clearly.

If you’re a fast talker, you need to learn how to use pauses! Get my Free Guide, “The Power of Silence: How to Use Pauses Effectively in Public Speaking.”

If you talk like either of the above examples, it’s almost certainly not news to you. But are you ready to get a handle on this problem? Even better, do you want generally to get your ideas across more effectively to listeners? If so, read on!

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How To Calculate Your Speaking Rate

Speaking rate is often expressed in words per minute . To calculate this value, you’ll need to record yourself talking for a few minutes and then add up the number of words in your speech. Divide the total number of words by the number of minutes your speech took.

Speaking rate = total words / number of minutes

You can record yourself with this online voice recorder. Once you have the audio of your speech, there are two ways to get the number of words:

  • Manually count the words as you listen back to the audio
  • Upload the speech recording to a speech-to-text platform
  • When you have the speech converted to text format, copy the text into a software package such as Microsoft Word, which provides a useful word count for the document.

    Once you have the number of words, convert the time to minutes â for example, if your speech was 4 minutes 30 seconds, you need to divide the number of words by 4.5 .

    John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, where he slowed his usually very high speaking rate down to below 100 wpm .

    Enlist Allies For Help

    Common Speaking Mistakes Professionals Make

    If you truly want to slow down and be a confident, clear speaker, the third step is to enlist allies for help in the workplace.

    Slowing down is one of the hardest things for a nervous speaker to master. What often happens is youll add PEP and then for the first few minutes of your presentation, youll be great.

    But as you keep speaking, its really easy for that faster pace to creep back in. And that’s where you need feedback from trusted colleagues in the workplace to stay on track.

    Maybe a colleague can give you a hand signal during your talk to remind you to slow down.

    Or you can ask for real-time feedback right after an important meeting.

    It can be tough to find people at work wholl give you honest, constructive feedback about your public speaking style. Thats why speakers often seek help from a public speaking coach.

    While coaching is a great help, I also encourage you to find a workplace ally who can give you on-the-spot feedback at work and support you on your quest to slow down.

    Learning to change your pace is one of the toughest changes to make as a public speaker, especially if youre nervous. But its a change worth fighting for.

    Pace is a huge part of how you build confidence, credibility, and connection with your audience.

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    Changing Your Voice Speed

    For certain applications, you may find that you’d prefer the voice you like be slowed down, or speeded up. If the speed of the voice is a concern, Amazon Polly provides the ability to modify this using SSML tags.

    For example:

    Your organization is making an application that reads books to immigrant audiences. The audience speaks English, but their fluency is limited. In this case, you might consider slowing the rate of speech to give your audience a little more time for comprehension while the application is speaking.

    Amazon Polly helps you slow down the rate of speech using the SSML < prosody> tag, as in:

    < speak>      In some cases, it might help your audience to < prosody rate="85%"> slow      the speaking rate slightly to aid in comprehension.< /prosody> < /speak> 
    < speak>      In some cases, it might help your audience to < prosody rate="slow"> slow      the speaking rate slightly to aid in comprehension.< /prosody> < /speak> 

    Two speed options are available to you when using SSML with Amazon Polly:

    Because the speed of each option is approximate and depends on the voice you choose, we recommend that you test your selected voice at various speeds to see what exactly meets your needs.

    In This Short Course You Will Learn:

    • The rate of speech that works the best for speaking. Let me give you a hint, its measured in words per minute.
    • Three exceptional strategies to slow down. Use just one of them or use all three.
    • A systematic way of incorporating this new habit into your conversation. Lets face itchanging a habit isnt always easy. The new skill is easyits getting it to stick that isnt. Ill help you find a way to go from learning the new skill to getting it to be automatic.

    Join the ranks of people who have developed a slower rate using a 30-day plan with 10 minute daily tasks so that sound polished, comfortable, and in control of your rate of speech. Your listener will thank you for it and it will help you become a more impactful communicator.

    Sign-up below.

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    Anchor To An Object Or A Person

    Before going into an interview or even walking on stage, plan to find something to anchor onto.

    • If its an interview, think of someone you care about who is supportive. Enter the interview as though you are meeting with that person, and respond to questions the way you would talk to that person. This can help you calm your nerves and slow down.
    • Have an object on hand for a presentation or meeting that can anchor you. Depending on your work environment, this could be a stress ball, a fidget toy, or a coffee mug. Focus on your anchoring object when your speech or heart rate accelerates. Imagine your stress seeping into the object and squeeze or soundlessly tap the object slowly to slow yourself down.
    • If its a conference or other event, look for a friendly face to anchor you. There is usually at least one person in the audience who will resonate with you. Look for that person, and anchor back to their face whenever you speed up or get nervous. Pause and take a quiet breath before you continue.
    • If its a date or social event, trigger serotonin and oxytocin using subtle self-touch. Calm yourself and slow your speech by rubbing your hands or leg. If possible, do this out of sight, such as under a table.

    Useful Tips To Slow Down Your Speech

    How To Speak More Slowly and Clearly

    Perhaps youve already experienced talking in front of a large audience, feeling extremely nervous or lacking in self-confidence mumbling a lot or skipping words?

    While this awkward situation might seem inevitable, there are some effective ways to counteract your trepidation.

    Dont leave your audience guessing! For a pitch perfect meeting, here are our six helpful tips:

    Allot some time to pauseInstead of delivering your speech in one whole paragraph, try breaking it down into portions that are more manageable this will help you to reduce the speed of your delivery.

    Alternatively, you can also flex and pulse your toes inside your shoes to serve as a physical reminder to slow down. This will also help you to determine whether your listeners can keep up with the pace.

    Get some inspirationMake use of various social media platforms to learn from great speakers and personalities. Try surfing some videos on YouTube or read some articles on the internet about famous people who are accustomed to public speaking, such as Steve Jobs and Barack Obama this can help you to emulate their best speaking habits to incorporate into your own presentations.

    Listen to your own speech

    Read factual books and reports

    Practicing over a childrens book, a newspaper report or your favourite reading material can help you to assess your speech. Read the content out loud as if youre in front of an actual audience and adjust your speed until you feel that your pace is acceptable.

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    Proper Breathing And Breath Control

    When we are running out of breath but trying to say something, what happens? We talk faster.

    So the first remedy is quite simple: make sure you nourish your lungs with plenty of air so that you dont have to rush.

    Every time you take a breath in, take in as much air as possible.

    This gives you much greater control over your speaking speed. You can slow down or speed up as you wish, depending on the sentence and the idea you are expressing.

    Air gives you options. With too little air in your lungs, you wont have the luxury of talking slowly. You will feel the pressure to talk quicker.

    And its common for people to have shallow breathing when public speaking. This is caused by the fight-flight-or-freeze response that we have when we are nervous on stage.

    We explored how to overcome that nervousness or stage fright here.

    But for now just be aware of this tendency, and control your breathing.

    Decent Mp3 Speed Changer

    MP3 Speed Changer is a software which is able to accelerate and decelerate the speed of MP3 media files. For slowing down an MP3 audio, you only need to take several clicks. Firstly, download, install and launch the software on the desktop. Secondly, click plus sign shaped icon to add the MP3s that you want to slow down. Thirdly, drag the tempo bar to change the MP3 speed as you required. The last thing is to click Convert Now to export the audio files. All right, it wont take much time and effort to slow down MP3.

    Except of slowing down MP3 one by one, this software also supports to slow down audio files in batch. In the case, the efficiency of audio slowing task is improved. After adjusting the audio speed, the pitch wont be modified. In addition, you can adjust the audio quality when slowing down it. However, the MP3 Speed Changer only can output audio to MP3 files. And it compatible with Windows only.

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    Want To Speak Slower & At The Perfect Rate The Voice Spa Will Train You

    The Voice Spa teaches you to be habitually relaxed in all high-stakes situations.

    Youll be ultra-confident and cool as a cucumber being interviewed on Bloomberg or GMA. Youll be smooth as silk during a job interview or on shark tank

    Next, you learn to use a concise speaking style. Then I teach you the techniques to being persuasive. I give you lots of practice.

    Youll learn to use a back resonance which gives you a very professional sound. Your voice will be so magnetic people will just do precisely what you tell them to do.

    if you do your homework , youll end up being an incredibly well-spoken persuasive person. Youll still be you only more compelling and influential.

    How Fast Is Too Fast

    How to slow down your speech: do we need a new approach?

    Some people have proposed arbitrary syllable-a-minute-counts. But Im not aware of any research that supports this approach.

    I like Bakkers definition:

    Exceptionally rapid speech is speech that draws attention to itself as being faster than normal and that potentially reduces intelligibility because it occurs faster than some listeners can comprehend.

    When Im contacted by a client seeking help to slow their speech rate, its usually because they are self-conscious about how quickly they speak, and havent been able to slow down alone.

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    Average Speaking Rate And Words Per Minute

    Updated November 08, 2022 – Dom Barnard

    The speed at which you talk has a huge influence on how the audience perceives you and your speech. It’s important, therefore, to understand your speaking rate and how to alter it depending on the type of speech you are delivering.

    In this article, you’ll learn how to calculate your speaking rate and how it compares to the average rate for popular talks to give you some context. Audio samples of speaking rates at the extremes are provided, so you can understand the difference in words per minute.

    At the end of the article, exercises are provided to help you develop an adaptive speaking rate.

    Slow Down Text To Speech Voice

    Copy link to clipboard


    I am using text to speech on Captivate 4. Essentially, I love the text-to-speech feature however, sometimes the voice is just too fast. I do not want to add pointless punctuation because I use the same text for the Closed Captioning. Does anyone know how to slow down the voice so people actually can follow what he is saying.

    Thanks !!

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    Now Steer Yourself In The Right Direction

    Let’s call this steering yourself in the right direction, which of course is toward your listeners. Your speech rate matters only in terms of how it helps you get through to people and influence them positively. If you’re told you use too-rapid speech, it’s an invitation and reminder to get back to basics when speaking in public.

    What are the basics of winning speeches and presentation? Find out in my Free white paper, “7 Key Components of Successful Presentations.”

    Make Your Audience the Sun. And that means making the audience the sun in your solar system. As I’ve written elsewhere, that’s a long arc that includes conceiving, writing, practicing, and presenting your talk in ways that will resonate and strike home with your listeners.

    It’s a simple conclusion then, isn’t it, to making the winning choice in terms of your speech rate? Pay attention to how all of this is coming across to your audience. Watch their nonverbal communication, and pay attention to their questions, moments of confusion, requests for clarification, and so on. But steer yourself in the right direction even before all of that starts coming your way, by making your talk audience-centric, not speaker-centric.

    Average Words Per Minute Speaking, accessed at

    You should follow me on Twitter here.

    Get one of the other tools for success in the virtual age, below!

    What Is The Average Speaking Rate

    Slow Down Your Speaking

    The average speaking rate changes dramatically for the purpose of your speech. According to the National Center for Voice and Speech, the average conversation rate for English speakers in the United States is about 150 wpm. However, for radio presenters or podcasters, the wpm is higher.

    Here is a list of average speech rates for different activities.

    Average speech rates

    • Audiobooks: between 150-160 wpm, which is the upper range that people comfortably hear and vocalize words
    • Radio hosts and podcasters: between 150-160 wpm
    • Auctioneers: can speak at about 250 wpm
    • : between 250-400 wpm

    To give these speech rates some context, if the speaking pace is 130 words per minute, you’ll finish reading an A4 page in 4 minutes, 51 seconds.

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    Extremes of speaking rate – world record pace

    Steven Woodmore is a British electronics salesman and comedian known for his rapid speech articulation, being able to articulate 637 wpm, a speed four times faster than the average person.

    Woodmore was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest talker, a title which he held for five years, taking the helm from the previous record holder, John Moschitta, Jr.

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