Recently, I received a call from someone that rattled off so much information in such a hurry that I was completely lost. In the first thirty seconds of the call I really only understood about three seconds of what quickly transformed into the sound of rambling. I even thought that maybe the person dumping words on me didn’t care if I understood what they were saying. The only reason I was able to get a word in was because they ran out of breath and I found the opportunity to let them know I had not understood a thing. After the call, I had a chance to reflect on the experience and was actually able to learn more than the caller ever intended.
That was when I realized that I probably often sound the same way to others when I speak to them. I am the first to say that I am guilty of of talking fast. To be honest, I speak quickly in English and lightning speed in Spanish. In retrospect, I think the reason things come out that way sometimes for me is because I believe that if a talk fast, I will get through the call or conversation quicker. But in reality, it only slows everyone down.
Why is it that the efficiency some of us believe we are achieving is actually having the opposite effect? On most calls we will always have to end up repeating ourselves because we spoke too fast and all the information we unloaded just zoomed by our intended audience.
I don’tÂ normally realize that I am speaking too fast until someone has told me to slow down or that they didn’t understand a word I said. By then I have defeated the purpose of trying to move things along quickly, because I have to start over. So, I try to remind myself to slow down. I try to tell my agents to find a pace that works for everyone. Not too fast and not too slow. If you catch yourself out of breath, you are definitely speaking too fast.
You never want to make a caller feel that you are just trying to rush them off the phone and don’t care about what they have to say. I know that is never my intention, but I do catch myself doing it from time to time. Does anyone else struggle with this? And what do you do to help yourself remedy this issue?
For now, just remember, while on a call or when talking to others, always do your best to slow things down a little so that people can understand all the great things you have to say!