“Fox in Socks our game is done sir! Thank you for a lot of fun sir!”
A Conference clip of amazing ‘articulatory dexterity’ (!) in which a student called Xin Yan, speed reads – but still manages to succesfully wrap her tongue around it all nevertheless – “Fox in Socks” by Dr Seuss.
And to help us all keep up with what she’s actually rattling through, the words are helpfully projected on the screen behind – Enjoy!
(In fact if you took the time to slow the clip down sufficiently, you’d actually hear her pronounce each word accurately, this being the main point of her Presentation).
And as you watch it – how many of us, I wonder – are actually thinking to ourselves:
“Oh dear! I’ve actually heard a recent Key Note Speaker do something very nearly approaching this…” – and, yes, you guessed it – they did it completely by accident too?!
And come on – fess-up – you might even have done this yourself!
Yes – it is astonishing to realise just how many people fall into this trap – or bad habit – of becoming nothing short of being a “text delivery machine” accidentally, as the nerves take hold, and we begin to rattle-off whatever it is we are meant to be saying – in a seeming mad dash to get to the end!
When we are nervous one of the main symptoms – which we are perpetually Coaching delegates about to help them put this habit right – is that we tend to speed up.
A great many people – as we all know – are absolutely terrified of giving a Presentation. The fear of Public Speaking – or “Glossophobia” as it is called (perhaps so called as we attempt to ‘gloss’ over whatever it is we are trying to say, in a mad dash just to get to the end?!) – is right up there with spiders & death!
And as the comedian Seinfeld rather humorously pointed out, the fear is so great in fact, that people at a funeral would rather be in the casket than deliver the eulogy!
So in a nutshell: If you do find yourself getting nervous, remember to breathe – breathe deeply (as this is the first thing to go by the wayside when we are nervous) – and remember to slow yourself down.
As human beings we prefer to think in pictures. Remember then to think the thoughts and visualise the pictures for yourself as you are attempting to communicate – and in this way, you will ‘let us in’ to what you are trying to say – and a more natural pace will emerge.
And to practice, why not have a go at reading “Fox in Socks” out loud for yourself?
It’s a great and challenging piece on which to practice your articulation and pacing – whilst also challenging you to use a good vocal range, to keep your storytelling interesting and engaging.
And remember at all times to think the thoughts and paint the pictures in order to properly pace yourself – and thereby allow us to come along with you for the ride…