Last few weeks I've been going out talking to random people at different speech speeds. After the talk I asked them to be brutally honest with me -- and tell me what their first impression was of me.

Although answers were influenced by the kindness of most people, they still got me on this interesting conclusion.

When I talk fast I become very energetic and proactive but people don't take me serious. However when I slow down my speech, people do take me very serious but think I'm boring.

Actors and public speakers seem to pull it off to talk slowly and still be really energetic, fun and outgoing.

When I try it my mind just numbs down. So how do they do it?

closed as off-topic by yochannah, Roger, gnat, David K, thursdaysgeek Jul 8 '15 at 16:52

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  • 2
    Probably not the best SE for this as it's not about navigating the workplace. – Myles Jul 7 '15 at 21:11
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    Join Toastmasters. – Vietnhi Phuvan Jul 7 '15 at 21:18
  • This is likely to be closed as off-topic, but here's a bit of help... Raise your eyebrows and smile. Don't end every phrase on a down-note. Speak from your heart, and your speed/pacing will not be a detractor. – Kent A. Jul 7 '15 at 22:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about communication in general, rather than navigating the workplace – yochannah Jul 8 '15 at 13:17

I used to work as an English teacher for non-English speaking adults. I definitely had points where I got excited about a topic and started to speed up my speech, frustrating and demotivating my students. It was really important that my students could follow along since they paid by the hour. I got pretty good at keeping them entertained while slowly explaining English grammar topics.

Talking slowly and clearly doesn't mean talking in monotone. Try practicing with movie quotes or musicals. It'll be over the top at first but you'll get the hang of slowing your pace. Another thing to practice is reading out loud, especially like a newscaster.

Talk to yourself in the mirror (yes, like in the Sims). You don't have to do much solo practice though. It'll just help you raise your awareness of your speech patterns.

When you're talking with people, try to be aware of your pacing. Don't change your happy tone when you slow down, and smile if you're excited. Smiling has a great effect on your tone, making you sound much more cheerful. Be sure to stress certain words and vary your pace a little. You're a human, not a metronome.

I think this is a problem you can solve fairly easily with a little mindfulness/self-awareness.

There's probably a better place for this question, though.

  • Also, record yourself. – mkennedy Jul 7 '15 at 22:46
  • Or take an acting class – HLGEM Jul 8 '15 at 22:19

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