Top Tips to Speak More Slowly.

Our conversational rate of speech differs from person to person. However, in professional and business settings, we should focus on speaking more slowly. A rapid pace can lead to listeners’ mishearing, which weakens the professional message—something to be avoided in interviews and business conversations. Also, when we speak too quickly, we are more likely to sound nervous, stumble over words, and fall back on the use of filler words (um, ah, etc.)

If you find you are rushing through your words, or you are not a native English speaker, practice slowing down your rate of speech. Not only will this help your colleagues follow what you are saying, but it conveys confidence and authority.

  • Start by thinking about your breathing. Deeper breaths will relax you and prevent the urge to rush through what you are saying.
  • Add an extra “beat” to the end of each sentence. It will slow you down and let listeners’ process the information.
  • Focus on enunciating the consonants in each word. Speakers with clear diction automatically slow down their pace.
  • Stretch the vowels. 

Practice reading passages aloud and deliberately slow down your pace. Allow your ear to become accustomed to this slower pace, and it will be easier to do so in business settings.