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Produce Powerful Presentations (Collection) by Jerry Weissman

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51. Fast Talking: Fun or Maddening

An actor named John Moschitta, Jr. once made a career out of talking fast. During the 1980s, Mr. Moschitta appeared in a series of television commercials for Federal Express that promoted the company’s speed of service. In each of the commercials, Mr. Moschitta played the role of a busy executive speaking on the phone, barking orders and wheeling and dealing at more than 500 words a minute. The funny, catchy ads made “The FedEx Man” a household name. You can find a clip of his FedEx commercials on YouTube.F51.1

However, fast talking can also be maddening for presentation audiences. An accelerated pace often causes a speaker to utter “ums” and “ahs.” Speed can also have a negative impact on audiences—particularly ...

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