Oh, the pacing….oh the pain….

Those of you who know me understand I spend lots of time watching other presenters get in front of audiences. In the spirit of observing and critiquing, this afternoon I spent some time watching a recorded version of a presentation.

It was horrendous. It lasted only 45 minutes, but just a few minutes into it I could tell this wasn’t going to be enjoyable. But I pushed myself to watch it, hoping to see something I enjoyed, because I knew the people in it. Namely, the main presenter.


I remember the key words spoken when a friend sheepishly put it into my hands, “it isn’t the best quality”. I thought they were just trying to downplay their technology involvement. And now 45 minutes later, I completely agree with their sentiment.

I once participated in an activity where we were to demonstrate our skill at sharing lies vs. truth. We were to tell 3 things about ourselves – 2 truths and 1 lie. And the listeners were to decide which was the lie. Usually, it is easy to tell. Lies take longer to create. The pacing is slower. But truth, in comparison, rolls right off our tongues.

Well this video looked like lies. And by that I mean the presenter was taking forever to say the message. Oh, the torture in sitting back while listening. It doesn’t matter that the sound on the recording didn’t match the video. That at least provided some humor to the experience. There’s only one thing worse than listening to a speaker who talks too fast. Listening to someone who talks too slow. Remember the King’s Speech? It is embarrassing. Actually, there’s one thing worse than that, also. When the video is of yourself.

Hate watching yourself speak? Me too. And today’s video heightened that experience. What I learned today is I need to practice my pacing. Pick it up! It’s okay to be slow at times, but not most times. Get along little doggy!

If you’re slated for an upcoming talk, videotape yourself, or at least make an audio recording. You will not enjoy the observation of it, but you’ll appreciate having the chance to correct things before a real audience observes you!

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On March 1st, 2012, posted in: record and observe, slow speech by