Tips for the Art of Slowing Down

Tortoise Hare

Considering that one is reading my blog (which is very nice; thank you for doing that,) several scorching inquiries suddenly appears through one’s mind. To illustrate:”I know your picture numerous times on the World Wide Web, but what about your voice? Is it squeaky? Is it monotone? Is it slow? Is it fast? Are you a soprano or a bass? The readers want to know.”

Distinctive Voice
Excellent question! The best way to describe my voice is that it’s very melodic and soothing, (at least, that’s what people told me.) I suppose, I am a baritone (although some people think of me as a bass.) I have a style that is definitely unique. (By the way, my post, “The Unconventional Guide to Imagination,” is my video when I was fundraising to walk for the American Heart Association Heart Walk ’14, so you can marvel [snicker, snicker] if you like…)

As a matter of fact, even when I am talking on the telephone, the other person always commented immediately on my distinctive voice. Yup; they always declared, “You should be on radio because your voice is perfect. People will listen to what you are trying to say.”

Surfin’ Herb
“Mmmmm…,” I said. Therefore, I pondered, “How can I use my voice effectively?” One idea: being on the air.

You see, my undergraduate studies was at the University of Chicago, and, unbeknownst to me, there was a small radio station, WHPK-FM, 88.1 FM. Ten watts of power, the manager was looking for new disc jockey.

So, lo and behold, my alias, “Surfin’ Herb,” took the airwaves! Even though it was just a short time, I swayed in progressive rock in the early ’80s. You know, artists like Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello , R.E.M.  and U2. Another words, in the day, quirky.

My time-slot: Friday from 10:00 2:00 a.m. the next day. Students absolutely listened to my raving because, in their point of view, that was the only time that they can relax over the entire week. (We were very hard-working pupils at the UChicago!)

A Little Sidetrack
I savored my time is a DJ and understood that my ability to articulate was expanding. However, as you know, I occurred a little sidetrack: I lost the capability to communicate completely when I suffered my stroke. Literally, I had to start over from scratch. Evaporated; back to square one.

Nevertheless, what I found out was after years of recovery, even though, I moved like molasses, people were listening to what I was trying to say more intently because I was slowing down. Huh.

This was a revelation to me, considering that when I was a DJ, I would talk as fast as I can all the time. Now, it seems like the more slowly I spoke to people, the more insight and responsive the other person got.

The Art of Slowing Down

These days, in the art of slowing down, I engage with another person for the betterment of clarity and comprehension for both parties. In particular, I encourage one to:

  • Verbalize one deliberately with passion
  • Listen, listen and listen some more to what other people are talking about
  • Comprehend their point of views and emotions in their discussion

All of us creates sentences or paragraphs to be more precise and responsive to the other person, right? Well, also make sure to be more meaningful and colorful for both participants. Show one’s pizzazz! Realize that one’s communication and all the nuances that belong to one could vanish tomorrow. It is just a little reminder of how each individual person is unique and special in their own way.

How do you use your voice and communications effectively in your sphere?

Now, another tune…



Add yours →

  1. Great post! It’s unfortunate that slowing down has become something of an art in today’s hustle and bustle culture. thank you for these excellent tips. I think I’ll have a chance to practice them over the holiday.

  2. Herb,
    I would join the ranks of those who find your voice, as well as your manner, in conversation to be soothing, very easy to listen to and comprehend. I was very struck by that fact, even go so far as to say it is mellifluous. This must be a very good thing, especially in your presentations and speaking to groups.

    I appreciate very much what you say about slowing down as we speak. We jump into topics much too fast these days, and seem to think- ‘Oh this is “done”‘ and move on much too quickly. Maybe it is the texting and emails, which invite- nay require- short quick responses, with no conversation and without savoring that interaction which is so important to our humanity.

    Thanks for making me think once again.

    • I appreciate your input, and especially the comment about the emails and text messagse. I think you’re totally correct because people don’t craft their words effectively, instead they just rush the response without, sometimes, understanding the larger picture. Thank you for your comment and a early happy Thanksgiving!

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