Before answering that question, presenters need to understand why they talk too fast to begin with:
- They already know the material and have difficulty relating to the audience that doesn’t.
- ‘Two pounds of sand in a one-pound pail.’ They don’t plan or focus their message better, have too much information for their time limit and are tempted to talk faster to get it all
- The impact of presentation anxiety and adrannelin on their internal speedometers – they don’t realize they’re talking that fast.
- Passion and enthusiasm about the topic also results in a faster rate.
- Some people have a delivery rate at the fast end of normal.
Next, presenters need to consider why talking too fast is not good for the audience or them. It makes it more difficult to:
- Project an image of confidence, audience-sensitivity or competence.
- Help the audience to keep up, process and retain the information.
- Concentrate, keep on track, take breaths or review notes.
- Therefore, accomplish presentation objectives and outcomes.
The easiest way to slow down is to pause more often and longer at logical content points, like the end of phrases, sentences or paragraphs. Pause even longer at end of a topic or slide to take a drink or look at your notes or screen in silence. So, speed up your results and confidence by slowing down your rate.