Passion Trumps Technique – Public Speaking Tips
Do you speak too fast? When I first started performing as a Los Angeles magician, one recurring suggestion I’d get from my peers who were trying to help, was to slow down. They said I talked too fast.
Even today when I give a speaking presentation or perform magic, I have a tendency to speak very fast. There are a several reasons for it. If I’m even a little nervous, I speak fast, and it’s difficult to control. Sometimes I know my material so well, that the words just flow out of my mouth without even thinking about it. Other times I’m just so passionate and excited about the ideas that I have to share, that passion and excitement reveals itself in my quickly paced speaking.
So, is this a bad thing? Well, it can be. If you speak so fast that you don’t enunciate your words, people won’t understand what you’re saying. Other times the information will go by so fast that the listener won’t be able to grasp your message. So it’s a good thing to be aware of the pacing of your speaking.
One of my best friends, is comedy magician, Zach Waldman. When we first met, he would often tell me to slow down. I was speaking too fast. As time went on, he changed his mind. He said, I should just continue to do what I felt comfortable doing, because that was me, and to try to force me to speak a certain way would not do anyone any good.
I’m a long time subscriber to Success magazine, which is a fantastic magazine for anyone who’s looking to achieve greater levels of success in any facet of their life. Every month an audio CD is included with the magazine, and in the March 2015 issue, they featured an interview with life coach, author, and professional speaker, Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is arguably the most famous and most successful speaker on the planet, and I was amazed at how fast he talked. He talked a mile a minute. I had to rewind the CD several times to just to grasp the message he was sharing, but I could feel the passion for what he had to say, and that passion was infectious.
So my answer to the question, “Is speaking fast a bad thing?” is… “Not necessarily.” I think it’s more important to be yourself, and share your passion.