When we communicate with others, there is a preferred “speed” at which people have the highest amount of understanding or the ability to hear, comprehend, and understand our words. Get out a stop watch and see where your rate of speech is! As a representative of your organization, it is important that you speak clearly. That means that you must articulate. It also means that you must speak so that you can be understood. Although there is no set rate of speech, most expert speakers talk at between one-hundred-forty and one-hundred-sixty words per minute. That is a good speed for verbal communication. It is not too fast to be understood. It does not give the listener the impression that you are under pressure nor is it too slow. The one-hundred-sixty word rate adds an element of dignity to your voice. The one-hundred-sixty word rates also gives a sound image to your audience that establishes both you and your company as efficient and well-organized. To give the audience the kind of impression of yourself and your company that you wish, speak correctly, speak at one-hundred-sixty — that’s one-hundred sixty words per minute.
Imagine for a moment, you have a small gathering of children sitting around you on the floor, looking up at you as you prepare to read your most favorite Dr. Seuss book. “One fish… two fish… red fish… blue fish!” Or…, “Did you ever fly a kite… in bed? Did you ever walk… with ten cats on your head?” Now, what Seussem’ means is that you are speaking at 140-160 words-per-minute. You articulate, you use a correct voice pitch, pause, and pace. Pitch means your voice quality, pause means using silence to “cliff hang” or emphasize a point, and pace is the correct listenable rate-of-speech you should be at. The best Attorney’s, Sales Representatives, Actors, Professional Speakers listen to themselves on a tape recorder. This can be done in your car while driving to your appointment. They play back the recording and are able to check their own “Rate-of-Speech” pitch, pause, and pacing. By listening to themselves on tape, they are able to coach themselves by refining their presentation over and over again.
At Business Connections Telephone Answering Service we train + train + train on Rate of Speech and we still find room for improvement. We utilize a Voice Logger and to actually hear yourself is the greatest method to reinforce the proper rate of speech. For more information about Business Connections visit www.bcanswer.com or call 1-866-601-6115 and ask for Dirk or Stuart.