Fast Talking More Effective For Ambivalent Audiences
Interesting bit of news for the communicator trying to decide whether a deluge or words or a careful turn of phrase will be more persuasive.
The answer, according to researchers, is that it depends. This study shows that when someone is already apt to agree with you the more slowly you speak the more often they get a chance to agree and the more persuasive you come off.
On the other hand, if someone doesn’t really care, then external circumstances (like speed of speech) start coming into play.
…it seems we might well have reason to fear fast talkers if they are delivering a message we’re not inclined to agree with. It seems the fast pace is distracting and we may find it difficult to pick out the argument’s flaws. Similarly when faced with an audience gagging to agree, the practised persuader would do well to slow down and give the audience time to agree some more.
All this assumes the audience is interested in the topic in the first place. If it isn’t relevant, people are likely to judge it based solely on much more peripheral matters, like how fast they are talking. So once again, when talking to a disinterested audience, the fast talker is likely to be more persuasive.