If you've ever been to one of my presentation you may get the impression that I am in a race of some sort as I tend to speak very fast. The tempo with what I speak is not an accident but at the same time there is no race going on. I do realize some people may have a hard time following my words since they are going to fast, but it beats the alternative.
In conversations, as far back as I can remember, I have always had a fast pace when I am actually having a conversation that I'm participating in. For me that pace never seemed odd because that's how fast my mind is actually going. A lot of times I would actually combine words without any space between just because my brain was working that fast.
Why does it go that fast? I did mention at the start that speed beats the alternative and the alternative is this; if I go slower I will begin to think about what I am doing and saying and if I do that my words....... are........going to........ slow........ WAYYYYYYYYYYY...... down.
It's always been that way in my life. In a conversation I am either fully comfortable and speaking fast or taking to long to think about what to say and by the time I try and talk the window closed and I retreat back into processing. Public speaking is no different and if I don't speak fast I will begin to analyze what I need to say, what I should have said, and what the possible reactions to my line to come will be.
Now, I know you are probably wondering what my title for this post means considering I mentioned that there is no race going on when I present. The connection to racing is that, when I am presenting, I am in that same zone that I go to when I race. In real life, or on any racing game, I am fastest when I don't think about what I'm doing. When the conscious mind turns off and it just happens without thought that is when the fastest times come. If I have to think about what's going to happen in the next corner and what I need to do, well, nothing good comes from that. So too is this concept true with speaking.
I have to admit that I now put zero thought into my presentations when I do them. Much like a race track that I've had 10,000 laps on I can do it without thought. Don't get me wrong, my presentation is always changing with a new story here or a new experience there, but there is no actual thought as to what I should say or when I should say. If I ever get to that point, and it happens occasionally should I get distracted somehow, it can take me several seconds to get back on track and maybe a few minutes before I enter that zone of working in the subconscious.
Many times I have written about my struggles of open-ended conversations and in my various book writings I've always stated that one-on-one conversations are doable for me, but if a third person joins in I tend to shut down. I believe one of the reasons for this is the same concept in this post; with another person comes more to analyze and from that I will over process and be chained within my own mind.
So yes, if you have or will ever see my presentation I will apologize right now because speaking fast is something I must do. I am aware of it, but if I were to slow down I would be flooded with fear, anxiety, and a nasty case of the "what do I say next?" bug because I would be thinking too hard. This too is why I think I get so exhausted after a presentation because I am having to put so much energy to stay at that pace. Again, I know it can be annoying to hear me speak so fast, but if I were to slow down I don't know who much sense I would make because I wouldn't be able to make sense of what I should say next.