Learn to control your rapid rate of speech

Talking too fast is one of the most common behaviors that can throw off professional speaking skills. Studies show that people who speak too fast appear messy and disorganized and are not judged as competent or polished. Out-of-control speech rate hampers the quality of your message, as listeners are forced to work harder to understand. Also, a pronunciation error is more likely to occur because speech articulators bump into each other when trying to produce sounds. Speech rate along with melody (ie intonation) are the two key factors that influence an individual’s spoken language. If your speaking rate is too fast, you should address it if you are aiming for smooth and clear speech.

Typical communication problems that occur with a fast speech rate

You are perceived as nervous and less confident.

You seem disorganized and ill-prepared.

It is difficult to organize your thoughts and ideas while talking.

You are more likely to use “filler” words like “umm, like, you know,” which reduce the quality of the message.

Control over the melody of your speech is lost and replaced with a choppy, choppy, or monotonous rhythm. It is not possible to speak in tune and have pitch changes while speaking at a fast speaking rate. The result will be a monotonous speech with articulation errors.

You are more likely to mispronounce words or drop specific sounds and syllables that compromise sharp articulation and diction.

It creates unfortunate communication failures because when speech is too fast and loud, the listener’s brain shuts down. It’s tiring to be forced to listen to awkward speech patterns. This creates the possibility of miscommunication, missed opportunities, or diminished credibility.
When your speaking rate is too fast, listeners have to struggle to process information and often have to fill in their own gaps when information is lost, increasing the likelihood of a communication failure. This is a detrimental speech habit when presenting valuable information, negotiating, or trying to persuade in the business world. In order to be perceived as trustworthy, competent and well-spoken, it is essential to control the rate of speech.

You can learn to control your fast speaking rate with strategies. Once you’ve identified a strategy you like, practice it with your exercise work, speech notebook, and Speech Triggers to make a habit of this important skill. You must be effective with your selected strategies and be prepared to internalize these skills to be successful at the conversational level. It’s just not enough to say, “Okay, I’ll slow down.” Haven’t you tried it yet? To be successful with speed and intonation, you have to remember to use a strategy that works best for you and practice it for at least three weeks so it starts to feel natural.

Strategy training for controlled speaking habits

1. Speak using intonation, particularly the ladder approach

Mastering the skill of intonation and rate of speech will also complement your speed because you will speak in controlled phrases and pitch patterns. Their speech articulators will also be in a better position to follow through and say all of their final sounds. When you use the intonation ladder method while practicing one of the rate strategies below, your overall rate and articulation of speech will sound clear, professional, and you’ll be perceived as a good speaker.

2. Feel the touch of your articulators

Control your rate of speech by feeling your articulators make contact with each other. Its articulators are its lips, teeth, tongue, jaw, and facial muscles. When you speak, feel your lips and jaw move when touched, as well as your tongue in contact with your teeth and jaw. The purpose of this strategy is for you to feel and notice the tactile sensation of your mouth as you speak. If you cannot feel the tactile sensation in your mouth from your articulators as you speak, then you are speaking too fast. Take a moment to feel the contact in your mouth of your different articulators. Using this strategy will significantly help you slow down. To demonstrate the amount of sensation that can be felt, count from one to four and feel what your articulators are doing.

One Your lips pursed and touched.

Two Your tongue touched the back of your upper teeth.

Three The tip of your tongue moved between your teeth.

Four Your upper teeth touched your lower lip.

The goal is to feel the tactile feedback, or the sensation you feel when your articulators move. If you can be aware of this sensation as you speak, your pace will automatically slow down. Feeling your articulators touch is a good internal strategy to slow you down. Give this strategy a try.

3. Say each sound in each word as you travel through the Staricase
As you speak, focus on producing each sound in each word. Think about saying all your sounds, particularly the ones at the end of words. Be sure to say each sound in multi-syllable words. Give yourself the “mantra” of “say all the sounds in every word” as a way to encourage yourself to use this strategy. When using this technique, you are more aware that your articulators (ie, lips, tongue, and jaw) move at a controlled pace so they don’t bump into each other during continuous speech. This strategy will help you slow down while improving your overall articulation.

4. Hold your vowel sounds longer

Many speakers who have a fast pace often shorten the duration of “long” vowel sounds too much. You want to get your message across quickly, so you cut out the longest sounds. American and professional speech has long and short vowel sounds that need to be said correctly to prevent your listener from sounding breathy. Be sure to hold vowel sounds, especially long ones, for the proper amount of time.

5. Match your rate with another speaker

Be aware of other people’s speaking habits and identify other people who speak fast. Then, find people who speak at a controlled, pleasant pace. When you can identify fast talkers and people who have a nice pace, your awareness of your own speech behavior will improve significantly. Think about family members, coworkers, and friends and identify those who talk fast and those who don’t. Write down the three fast talkers and the controlled talkers in your speaking notebook to enhance your own awareness.

When you get a chance to talk to someone who you think is a good speech model, match their speaking speed to their speed during the conversation. You may feel that you are speaking too slowly. You are not! Remember, you are the one talking fast and you need to slow down. If you find this new strategy funny or complicated, you’re probably doing it correctly!

One very important note for speaking: While practicing these speaking strategies, you may feel like you are speaking too slowly and sound strange. Don’t worry, you’re not. Remember that your speaking style is too fast. If this new speed and style seems strange to you, you are doing it correctly. It may seem strange at first because it’s a new behavior. His former behavior of speaking too fast interfered with the quality of his speech and his professional image. Keep practicing and it will start to feel natural. When practicing with your notepad and Speech Triggers, speaking speed is another skill to try to improve your communication skills.

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