Speaking: How Fast Talkers can Slow their Speech for Greater Positive Impact-Part 3 (Thought Groups)
When speaking, fast talkers and speakers of English as a second language can slow their speech for making greater positive impact. One method is by using thought groups. A thought group is a group of words that form a unit of meaning. This group of words go together to express a thought or idea.
Negative Impact of Fast Speech
Without using some of these techniques, the person listening to a fast speaker can experience communication barriers. As a result, the listener can misinterpret what’s been said. The listener many times becomes frustrated. He or she no longer wants to ask “What did you say?” The listener stops tuning in. She or he exits the communication exchange. In the worst case, she or he avoids communicating with the person altogether.
To prevent these communication barriers, implement the following techniques using thought groups. English speakers use thought groups for communicating clearly. You can pause between thought groups to slow your speech down. Let’s look at the aforementioned sentence as an example.
Thought Group Example
Here is an example of three different thought groups in one sentence.
Sentence: “You can pause between the subject and predicate to slow your speech down.”
- The first thought group is ‘You can pause’.
- The second thought group is ‘between the subject and predicate’.
- The third thought group is ‘to slow your speech down.’
Notice that each thought group has words that go together ultimately forming meaning in and of their own unit separate from the other parts of the sentence. Nonetheless, the three thought groups are also related to one another.
Pausing in Thought Groups
Target your pause at the end of thought groups. If you group your words naturally, there will be a better flow to your speech, and it will be easier for people to understand you. Besides pausing at the end of thought groups, it’s also important to slow your speech within the thought groups. The way you speak the words during the time before the thought group ends will impact your communication partner(s) . Here are some ways you can slow down before the pause at the end of thought groups.
How to Confidently Slow your Speech in Thought Groups
- Be confident in your ability to recall the next thought in line in your mind. Many people speak quickly because they are afraid they won’t remember what they want to say if they don’t “get it all out” right away.
- Practice holding yourself back somewhat while you speak. You can do this by breaking down sentences into their individual words.
- Break down the concept of words into specific speech sounds for clearly speaking your thoughts. Focus on each individual speech sound in each word.
Fast talkers and speakers of English as a second language can slow their speaking rate for making greater positive impact by using thought groups. Pausing at the end of thought groups, focusing on words in sentences, and on speech sounds in words can facilitate a clearer, more succinct speech pattern that people understand, enjoy, and of which they want to hear more.
To your improved impact using thought groups,