Why I have to slow it down

When I was younger, whenever I had something exciting happening in school, I would tell my mom about it at the end of the day. Because I was so excited, I talked faster and faster. My mom said, "Slow down, nobody can catch everything you say if you talk that fast."

When I first arrived at Drake, I noticed my American classmates talked very fast. I thought, that's the normal speed of speaking in English here and I wanted to speak faster too. Somehow, I thought how fast one speaks reflected one's intelligence. (Maybe I watched too much TV drama of lawyers and doctors. :))

My boss, whose first language is French, once said, "If you think I talk funny now, you can imagine how my English was like 15 years ago." I can totally relate to that. 4 years ago, if I spoke just a little bit faster, almost nobody could understand what I was saying.

So I learned. I learned that as an ESL person, to communicate, it's not about how fast I talk, it's about the ideas I want to convey. In order to say the same idea with fewer words, I have to learn to be precise.

It's actually a good idea to slow it down, especially in your speech class- you can write fewer words. :)

Thanks K for bringing up this topic!


marcus said...

Glad you mentioned this topic. Its quite close to me. In fact how fast you speak DOES reflect your intelligence because intelligent people speak S-L-O-W-L-Y, or at least at a pace the listener can understand. Successfull communication is about how much the listener has understood. Even so, some team workers can communicate with each other very quickly, but usually, they chose shorter sentences rather than less time to say them in. That's smart!