By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help your audience better retain the message of your next speech. Reading time: 3:12.
Think of yourself climbing into the driver’s seat the next time you step on a podium or up to a lectern. Now take your audience for a joy ride. Let them feel in the pit of their stomachs just how exhilarated you feel about your subject. Now step on it!
Accelerate to exhilarate. Speed up and then slow down. Accelerate then slow down. Remember your first joy ride? The fun is in the acceleration not just the velocity. So too in effective public speaking. Speed up and slow down. Vary your pitch. Vary your tone. Vary your rate of speech.
Yet too often I hear overly excited leaders with their foot slammed down on the accelerator screaming with the passion of a preacher seemingly for miles. Too much. Then I hear other even more zealous leaders shifting into an even higher gear and rattling off facts like a professional auctioneer. Too fast. But mostly I hear leaders riding the brake, unsure of where they’re going and doling out fact after fact, drip by drip, in a tepid monotone. Too slow.
Pace yourself. Pacing is the key to an effective speech delivery–assuming the content is tailored to the audience’s interests, concerns and needs.
To help me remember the importance of pacing whenever I deliver a speech, I think of taking my audience on a roller coaster ride. I always like the suspenseful build up point by point by point, just like the roller coaster clicks along the tracks as it climbs that first incline, every so slowly and then halts briefly at the top before soaring down the incline. Weeeeeeeeeeeee!