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How to Pace a Speech

Learn how to pace a speech from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking training video.

Transcript

So what's the best way to pace your speech? Well you don't wanna do what I just did. You don't want to rush. The big problem most people have when they get nervous is they start speaking too quickly. And that destroys the pace of your speech. What you're looking for in a speech is conversational tone. You want to sound like you are when you're talking to your best friend at lunch. Maybe the topic is different, but the pace should be the same. Meaning sometimes a little faster, sometimes a little slower. Sometimes louder, sometimes a little softer. Occasionally a pause.

When we're nervous we stop doing all these things. It's as if we're trying to get through as soon as I finish all this the sooner I can sit down and get out of here. That's not how you wanna be. You don't want people focused on you seeming nervous or uncomfortable. You don't want to speak so quickly they can't understand you. you want to speak to them like you're having a one on one conversation even if you're speaking to a room of 10,000 people. Now the easiest way to really monitor your pace and then make sure it's right is you've gotta rehearse and you have to rehearse on video.

There was a time when video cameras were so expensive, you had an excuse. But not anymore. I mean, these days we're surrounded by video cameras. Use your cell phone, use a webcam an iPad. Everywhere there are video cameras. Practice your presentation and look at it. And do you think you're speaking too quickly, you probably are. If you think you're rushed, you probably are. So you need to look at a video of yourself and say hey, that person sounds interesting, engaging and conversational. When you get to the point of watching your rehearsal video like that you're pacing for your actual speech should be fine.

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