We do this all the time. We get excited for something, and we speed through things with energy and vigor. However, sometimes, we need to pace ourselves. Slow down the conversation a bit. Put a pace on it, so the listeners can listen and understand.
Easier said than done. You might say you’re going to slow down, but then you rock through a show like no tomorrow – just to get all the information you need to talk about in a 7 minute show. How can one slow down?
Better yet, what if the excitement should show the need for speeding up? What do we do?
Pacing Yourself during your Podcast
Musicians do it all the time. Poets also do it, too. It’s keeping the beat. A constant tick of a metronome to tell them the speed of which they are going at. No speeding up or slowing down while you play that song, or rock that iambic Pentameter.
Try This: The easiest way to pace yourself, is to get some type of metronome. Let it tick in your ear. tick… tick… tick… When you are ready, just talk your opening lines to your podcast. Now, you are not trying to match a specific word with the tick of the clock. It’s not like:
The pace is there to guide you through a discussion. The musical terms Glissando and Grandioso come to mind. Think of it like sliding your feet across a wood floor (instead of taking steps). That is what you are trying to do with your words. The metronome only sets a tempo.
The other thing to watch for is not abnormally stopping when you hear a tick. It should still sound like you are talking to a friend or neighbor. It’s not a song, but it can be a masterpiece.
Slow Down, loose the Ummm.
Sometimes, I notice that I speed up when I’m reading something. I then lose my place in the reading, and that ugly word comes out. (Cue Beevis and Butthead) “Uhhh”…
As a kid, I was always told to read it first, then say it out loud. Same thing goes here. Read it first, then say it out loud. It can be tough to do, but with a little practice (or for me, a LOT of practice), you’ll start to find yourself with less skips and stumbles.
Try This: Read a passage of text aloud, like you were dictating to someone who cannot hear you that well. That goes with another term I learned as a kid: A-NUN-CI-ATE. Be outrageous when you practice. By over-exaggerating your words, you are also stretching out your mouth muscles, which is also good.
The Elements Speed You Up, too.
Have you ever had someone walk in on you while you are podcasting? Sometimes, it can really trip you up. Learning to pace can also help you when you stumble, so you can get back in your groove.
As a drummer, I drop a stick now-and-then. To grab a new stick and get back to the beat is a task you have to learn at first. It doesn’t get easier, but you do recover faster from a dropped stick.
Is there a Time I Should Speed Up?
There is one more music-related tip. Sometimes, a musician has to change speed. That is done at a specific time in a piece. It’s OK to change the tempo. Not everything needs to be done at 120 beats per minute. Just try to pick your spots, and get the new tempo going for a while before you change it again.
These ideas may be a little confusing at first. Especially if you are not a musician. Believe me, though, they can really help.
The biggest key is to practice what you are going to say. That way, you don’t have to think about it too hard. Your words will come out better if you are prepared for them.