Because of a natural fear of speaking, most people start off their presentations by speaking about twice as fast as they normally would.
And usually, within a minute they are at their normal rate of speed. It’s that first 30 seconds to 60 seconds that you’ve really got to be aware of slowing down and speaking at your normal rate of speed.
So, the last thing you want to tell yourself – other than, “I’m going to have a great time and they’re going to love me,” – is, “I’m not going to speak too fast at the beginning.”
One way to do this is to greet the audience. If you’re going to say “Hello, how are you?” You’ve got to really mean it and you’ve got to pause and let them tell you…!
In other words, “Hello, how are you?” <pause… pause… pause…> Let them respond. “Good. I’m feeling great today, too. We’re going to have fun here today!” See how much, much slower I’m going? And then, I can get into my subject.
Give yourself every reason to start off at a normal rate of speed, and if you do that, you’re not going to have to worry about talking too fast.