#68 Be warned. Speed kills!
We are talking about Impact, the third constant factor of a platform master. A speaker who impacts an audience will use at least one of five strategies to do it.
These strategies are built around Clarity, Reinforcement, Consolidation, Inspiration, and Positioning.
We began a conversation several episodes ago on the first strategy, Clarity. We talked about the need for relevant, interesting content. We named this first element, Substance and we gave you six critical questions that must be asked in order to have substance clarity.
In that same episode, we talked about ‘Simplicity’, the companion of Substance. Here we gave you the profoundly simple formula of ‘Less Words = More Message’.
In the last episode, we introduced you to the 13 Box Structure System, which is the secret behind the secret sauce.
Today, I’m going to talk about the fourth element in Clarity: Speed.
I’m an excitable speaker. I get animated and really climb into what I’m saying and my speed of delivery starts to accelerate. Sometimes, I catch myself talking so fast that my words can’t form properly.
When this happens… I end up sabotaging myself… WRONG KIND OF IMPACT!
On the other side of the coin, I’ve heard speakers that was so slow we could step out, fix a cup of tea, come back and they are still on the same sentence! Well… I exaggerate a little but you get the idea.
So, the question we want to address here is, how fast is too fast? How slow is too slow? At what point does speed kill your impact as a speaker? How fast you talk will often be determined by culture, geographical location, subject matter, gender, emotional state, fluency, profession, and the type of audience.
Here’s what we do know…
…Slow speech is usually regarded as less than 110 wpm, or words per minute.
…Conversational speech generally falls between 120 wpm at the slow end, to 160 – 200 wpm in the fast range.
…People who read books for radio or podcasts are often asked to speak at 150-160 wpm.
…Auctioneers or commentators who practice speed speech are usually in the 250 to 400 wpm range.
A platform master will learn to ‘flex’ the speed of their delivery.
In some cases, you will need to slow down and lower your voice so that you can create anticipation, or tension. In other cases, you will need to increase speed so you can become more infectious, more energetic.
Being a platform master means that you will impact your audience with the ‘way’ you say things and this means speed flexibility.
If you stay at normal speaking speed, you will most likely lull your audience into a state of ‘day-dream’ – where they are hearing the sound but not getting the meaning.
For sure, speed kills impact. Too slow… fall asleep. Too fast… can’t keep up.
A platform master will learn to read an audience and adjust, giving the audience time to catch their breath or digest what is being delivered to them.
Here’s the action point of the day.
Practice makes Permanent… so practice the following…
Increasing speed…. this will signal urgency, excitement, passion or raw emotion.
Then slow down, and this will signal importance, seriousness or a significant idea is be delivered. By the way, slow says: ‘LISTEN UP! YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS.’
A new concept or complex information may need to be delivered slowly to give the audience time to grasp it before moving on.
And remember… a platform master create impact by being flexible… slow, fast, and medium.
One size does not fit all.
There is more to come.