Are You Able To Hurry Up And Speak?

Just how fast can you give a speech?
Just how fast can you give a speech?
Image Credit: Marco Verch

So we can all speak. However, how many of us can speak fast? I mean really fast? We all understand that when we are asked to give a speech, we are generally given an amount of time that we can use to deliver our speech. All too often, things change – the event started late, someone ran over, etc. When we get ready to take the stage, despite the importance of public speaking, we’re told that we have less time than we were originally promised. This can cause problems for lots of speakers. However, what if there was a way that we could prepare for situations like this?

Say Hello To Speaking Fast

So if you wanted to learn how to give a speech fast, how would you go about doing it? It turns out that there are several techniques that you could use. The techniques go by names like “PechaKucha”, “Ignite”, and “lightening talks”. The idea is the same for each of these: speakers gather to learn how they can make every word in their speech count. They do this by participating in giving tightly timed presentations. The goal of these types of speaking challenges is to place a presenter in a high stress speaking environment where they have a limited number of words that they can use due to time limitations.

Speakers are given only five or six minutes to deliver a slide-based presentation. What they will have to do is to cover 20 slides while allocated only 15-20 seconds per slide. Where things get really crazy for the speaker is that the slides are programmed to advance automatically – the speaker has no control over them. The result of this is that the speaker is then forced to refine their message and how they deliver it in order to fit the time that they have been allocated. They have probably never been in a situation like this before.

As speakers engage in these types of speaking competitions, they start to experience a “beat the clock” type of challenge that most of us find to be engrossing. Our goal is to meet the time limits that have been imposed on us. The goal of participating in this kind of speaking event is for us to become better speakers. What we want to do is to learn speaking lessons that are valuable to us no matter how much time we are allocated during our next speech.

What Are The Benefits Of Learning To Speak Fast?

So what can you get out of learning how to speak very quickly? Experienced speakers have a saying in which they tell us that we should always want to leave our audience “… wanting more.” If you participate in an opportunity to give a short speech very quickly, you’ll develop the habits that you’ll need in order to leave your audience wanting more. Speaking in this style will allow you to refine your message along with your speaking style and your content. By reducing everything down to its bare essence, you will actually be doing your audience a big favor.

We all know that when we are talking with a person, they can rarely hold our attention for more than about five minutes. Why would we ever think that we could hold the attention of an audience for thirty or sixty minutes? No matter how well you think that you can write or speak, taking part in a rapid speaking event with its limited time frame will provide you with the ultimate test as you find yourself constrained by the time boundaries. These limitations will force you to have to drill down to exactly what your message is. You will have to find a way to communicate your message with no extra frills.

The advantage of participating in a rapid speaking event is that once it is done you can go back to giving so-called normal speeches. You will return to your old life with a renewed focus on how to create effective speeches. You will now know how to reduce and edit your speech so that you can get your message down it its very basic components. The result of all of this is that your speech will probably be shorter and you’ll get to your main point that much quicker. By doing this you’ll have an opportunity to make your main points stand out better. The images that you use as a part of your presentation will play a supporting role instead of taking your presentation over. What audience wouldn’t appreciate that?

What All Of This Means For You

Speakers generally like to give speeches so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. However, all too often we’ll discover that the amount of time that we thought that we had to deliver a speech has been reduced on us. Many speakers don’t know how to handle a situation like this. However, the good news is that there are speaking workshops that we can attend where we can learn how to effectively speak very quickly. If we can develop this skill, we’ll be ready to give our next speech no matter how much (or how little) time we are given.

These speaking workshops go by names like “PechaKucha”, “Ignite”, and “lightening talks”. The speaker is given only 5 or 6 minutes to present 20 slides and the slides advance automatically – the speaker has no control over them. This teaches the speaker how to refine their message and how to learn to beat the clock. As speakers we should always be striving to leave our audience wanting more from us. If we can learn how to give our speeches faster, then we can do a better job of doing this. Participating in a workshop that forces you to deliver a speech quickly teaches you how to drill down to your main message very quickly. After you get done participating in one of these workshops, you’ll take the lessons that you’ve learned back to create your next speech. It should be a better speech because you’ll get to your main point quickly and you’ll do a better job of using your images.

As speakers we need to understand that all of us can always learn how to become a better speaker. Taking part in one of these rapid speaking workshops can help us to come to a better understanding of what we really want to be saying. By refining both our message and how we deliver it, our audiences will start to pay more attention to us and with a little luck our message will have more of an impact on them.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you should ever give a real speech at the same speed that you do in these workshops?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The next time that you are asked to make a presentation, how it goes may be based more on how well you prepared than how good of a job you did making the presentation. What this means for you is that you are going to have to take the time to use the importance of public speaking to master the steps that a speaker has to go through in order to deliver an effective presentation. The good news is that none of these are hard to do. You just need to be able to remember the steps that you need to take.