How to Not Be Boring?
How to be more interesting? There are two key ways to improve:
- Verbal: This involves changing the content of your speech, including your choice of words, sentence structure, and paragraph organization.
- Non-verbal: This pertains to the way you deliver your message, encompassing aspects such as body language, tone, and gestures.
This tool by Vinh Giang primarily focuses on the latter aspect, as it emphasizes that how you convey your message is just as important, if not more so, than what you actually say.
To illustrate this, consider two YouTube videos with identical scripts: one is expertly edited with dynamic visuals and movement, while the other features the speaker talking continuously for 10 minutes without any visual variety.
The latter video represents communication devoid of the use of non-verbal tools.
According to communication expert Vinh Giang, the key to not be boring (or sounding boring) is to manipulate your rate of speech. This prevents the listener’s mind from identifying predictable patterns and anticipating what comes next. If you stick to a monotonous speech pace, the listener’s mind will register it as “boring.”
To become a more engaging speaker, you must vary your rate of speech. The fundamental approach involves slowing down when conveying important information and increasing your pace (or returning to your usual speech rate) when discussing less crucial topics.
The question then arises: how can you integrate this technique into your everyday life? That’s what tools by TACTICS+ is for.
How to Be More Interesting (Step by Step)?
1. Begin by Speaking at Your Regular Rate of Speech.
The starting point for all discussions is your natural speech pace, whether it’s fast or slow.
To illustrate these steps, let’s take the example of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who appears to have perfected this technique to avoid being boring while discussing intellectually challenging subjects.
Listen to the audio and note his typical rate of speech. Here’s the transcript:
People said “The aliens came to me, and they brought me in, and then they released me”. Do you have any footage? “No, they took my camera.” Or “No, they zapped my film.” And now there’s no image on the film, but there were countless stories.Taken from JRE #1658 w/Neil deGrasse Tyson
2. Find the Important Parts of Your Speech.
Now, let’s talk about spotting the most crucial parts of your speech. You probably already have a feeling for what’s really important. Here are some examples to help you understand better:
- Numbers and Facts: When you’re sharing numbers, statistics, or any kind of data, it’s a good idea to slow down. This gives your listeners time to understand what these numbers mean and makes sharing them less boring.
- Strong Feelings: If your speech has emotional moments that really matter, try to speak slower during those parts. It can make those feelings even more powerful.
- Quoting Others: When you’re quoting someone else, it’s advisable to slow down your delivery to ensure the quote is received with the intended credibility.
- Wrapping It Up: When you’re summing up your main points or drawing conclusions, slow down a bit. This helps your listeners follow along and absorb the information, while making you sound more interesting.
- Examples and Comparisons: When you’re giving examples or comparing things to help explain your point, speaking slowly makes it easier for people to picture what you’re saying.
By recognizing these important parts of your speech and adjusting your pace accordingly, you can make sure your message gets across clearly and effectively.
3. Reduce the Pace of Your Speech.
Now that you have a rough idea of when to slow down, the next step is simple: slow down your speech rate. Just extend the pauses between your words slightly.
Here’s how Neil deGrasse Tyson employs a slower pace in the same audio example used earlier. Focus on this part of his speech:
Well now you can stream live from your camera, anything that’s going on in front of you.Taken from JRE #1658 w/Neil deGrasse Tyson
4. Emphasize Key Words.
No answer to “how not to be boring” or “how to be interesting” will be complete without highlighting the importance of emphasis.
Emphasis is a powerful tool that can help you slow down your rate of speech, as you must deliberately pace yourself when stressing specific words or phrases.
Emphasis, in this context, means assigning special significance or weight to certain words or phrases within your speech. While you can emphasize words or phrases in any sentence, it is most effective when used for words or phrases that are genuinely more important.
You can emphasize words or phrases by:
- Enunciating it more (exaggerating the pronunciation of the word).
- Increasing your volume.
- Pausing before speaking the word or phrase.
Before we delve into an example, try to emphasize the capitalized words in the following sentences:
- He did NOT do a good job!
- He did not do a GOOD job!
- HE did not do a good job!
- He did not do a good JOB!
Notice the change in meaning as the emphasis shifts.
Now, observe how Neil deGrasse Tyson uses emphasis in the same sentence to deliberately slow down his rate of speech. Here’s the transcript (emphasized words are capitalized):
That would be INSTANTLY VIRAL! Oh my gosh!Taken from JRE #1658 w/Neil deGrasse Tyson
5. Revert to Your Regular Speaking Pace.
To sound captivating and keep your listener engaged, it’s crucial not to let their mind anticipate your speaking pace. To achieve this, you need to introduce variations in your rate of speech.
Now, return to your usual speaking pace.
Here’s an example of how Neil does it, the transcribed part is his normal rate of speech:
You know, the stuff that goes viral is much less than that. A cat that, a kitten that jumps to the table and falls, that goes viral…Taken from JRE #1658 w/Neil deGrasse Tyson
Conclusion and Further Self-Improvement.
I highly recommend Vinh Giang’s free 3-part series on communication skills. It provides a deep dive into unique strategies for enhancing your communication abilities and charisma.
Now, let’s put this tool into action with a simple plan:
- Send a voice message to someone while experimenting with varying your rate of speech.
- Practice changing your rate of speech during phone conversations.
- Experiment with altering your speaking pace when talking to someone face to face.
Give it a try and observe whether it makes you less boring and more interesting.
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