Pace has to do with how fast you talk and whether you keep within your allotted time limit. Both seem to be quite important, although in somewhat unexpected ways.


In the research by Estrada et al., people frequently complained when speakers were too fast. That part came as a bit of a shock to me. I am a fast talker. I also know lots of good communicators who speak quite fast. One example is Mark Kukushkin, one of the best known Russian business trainers with whom I had the privilege to study. He is well known for his rapid and almost unvarying pace. I personally don't mind when the speaker talks fast. To me, this is a sign of advanced verbal ability. I have observed presenters speaking slowly—apparently, some experts even recommend this because it is believed that the “words have more weight”—and they always come off as pompous jerks. At the same time, I have to admit that I do sometimes hear people complaining about Mark's speed. Some aren't that fast in processing. Maybe when you speak too fast, you just “blow them away” and not in a good way? This is certainly a possibility. I did some research myself and discovered that if you speak fast, you are sometimes perceived as anxious or formal. So, I can't deny that the problem exists. What exactly is too fast, though?

NOTE Speaking speed is measured in words per minute (wpm). According to the National Center for Voice and Speech at the University of Utah, a friendly conversation is somewhere in the range of 110–150 wpm. ...

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