I teach public speaking and presentation skills at a few Executive MBA Programs in Switzerland and Spain. A few years ago, I was teaching a class at IESE in Barcelona.
One of my students was a fellow named Manuel. He was bright, thoughtful and fully engaged. He also spoke fast. Very fast, even for a Spaniard. Sí, Manuel habló muy rápido. And there were few pauses between his sentences. At times, I wondered how he could breathe.
I kept encouraging Manuel to slow down and pause but to no avail. So I tried a different tactic. I stood up and walked to the back of the class behind the other students.
“Manuel,” I said, “I want to you to do your speech again. Whenever I hold up my hand signaling ‘Stop!’ you must stop talking. And you cannot begin talking until I lower my hand.”…[READ MORE]