Keeping your car traveling at a constant speed is tough sometimes, especially when you're competing for a slot in the fast lane or being crowded from behind by Mr. Triple-Shot-of-Espresso. We're all aware, I'm sure, that watching your speed on the highway is vital to the health of your driving record and your wallet.
Likewise, watching your speed as a public speaker is critical to your success. Unlike driving a car, however, maintaining a constant rate of delivery can ruin your reputation as a presenter and have a serious negative effect on your speaking income.
Unless you vary your rate of speaking, your presentation will blend into the room's general background noise and disappear completely. Here's what a variable speaking rate can do for you.
Create verbal punctuation marks
By delivering an entire block of words at one rate of speed, then following it with another block of words at a different rate, you've created packages of thought that your listeners will easily perceive as being separate and distinct.
Package your thoughts logically
Varying your rate creates packaged thoughts that can be quickly and easily handled before each succeeding one arrives. Your audience can then process your information exactly as you want them to because you've guided their thoughts with your pacing.
Give yourself some time to think
By using this packaging method, you're giving yourself brief time slots in which you can think. Create them by mixing long and short packages with fast and slow packages. Having these little bits of time to observe your audience (and to listen to your own words as you speak them) will give you numerous opportunities to adjust your presentation in real time as necessary.
Unlike when driving a car, changing your speed frequently when speaking is necessary and beneficial. Practice packaging your thoughts and making little bits of time in between. Mix it up, and you and your audience will have more fun. Best of all, they'll ask for more.