Have you noticed how fast the political surrogates for Trump and Clinton are speaking? This is a phenomenon which has gotten much more prevalent in the past two years. It seems that, like shouting, the speakers believe that the faster they speak, the more information will be delivered. The opposite is true.
While it is true that the brain is capable of hearing all the words, it is not always possible to process, understand, and relate the words to the question or conversation. The normal brain is able to identify or take in 400-600 words per minute. The normal speed of speaking for business presentations or TED talks, for which there is organization and practice, the speed is about 160 words per minute. This number becomes important when we recognize that although the average brain can take in 600 words per minute, it cannot parse and understand at that rate. So, why are the surrogates talking so fast?
I interpret this fast talking as an effort to out-talk the opposition- literally. It would serve their candidates better if the listener was provided with an additional 1-2 seconds between thoughts/subjects instead of the current .05 seconds between thoughts/subjects. Just because they can articulate that fast doesn’t mean they should; especially if understanding or persuading is the goal. Further, it seems that the moderators of the cable news shows where this phenomenon occurs are either not able to control their guests or themselves, competing to see who can say the most words per minute.
Please, give listeners, voters and citizens the ability to listen in a manner that allows them to make informed decisions. Talking that fast does not help. Or, is that the point of fast talking?