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Seb Anthony

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Speech pace exercises


Hi...I am looking for some specific exercises to implement into a training program that provides participants (who are customer service reps) with not only awareness, but also the opportunity to practise and apply the rate of pace/speed of their speech when talking to customers on the phone (i.e. we have a large group of people who speak very quickly). Does anyone have activities they use in their training?
Antony Burlak

4 Responses

  1. Exercise
    When I worked with a group of receptionists we had to address the same issue of speaking too fast when answering the phone, so I created a short and fun exercise for them.

    Working in pairs and with a stopwatch, the first exercise is to time your partner speaking as they would normally answer the phone, and make a note of the time (the group were surprised how short the time was, which is probably down to the fact that they say it and hear it hundreds of times during the day, so it has become overly familiar to them).

    Next, they did the same thing but this time speaking as fast as is humanly possible. This pointed out how silly it can sound but also how it may possibly sound to the person on the other end of the phone.

    Next, they repeated the exercise but doing it as slowly as possible. Again this caused a laugh but also demonstrated that slowing down only adds seconds to the time they are on the phone with the customer.

    Finally, we repeated the exercise but this time at a speed which gave the customer those extra few seconds they deserved.

    I then went on to look at posture before speaking with the customer.
    Oddball Training

  2. Pace
    Hi Antony,

    We use a standard paragraph that is 140 words which research would show would be the ideal rate to speak at to be able to be clearly understood (personally I find it a bit slow though but it does build awareness to pace) If you would like me to send you our standard wording which you can then use as an exercise where you have one speaker and one timer – we do it so that they have 5 attempts at reading all the words correctly within 1 minute – it is suprising the results!

  3. exercises
    I have a few ‘voice’ exercises that are suitable for a call centre environment. Please email me [email protected] for a copy. I can’t guarantee it’s what you are looking for, but you never know!

  4. Speech Pace Exercises

    I’m dealing with the exact same issue with one person in my company. Sheridan and Antony – would it be possible to have a copy of what you mentioned? I would be very interested in trying these out the person who came to me for help. Items can be emailed to

    [email protected]

    Many thanks.

    Barbara Babcock


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