Asking to Change the Pace of Speaking

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Speed and Volume

A EXAMPLES (Read, Discuss and Practice)


Please speak a little more slowly.

Could you please speak slowly?

Would you mind not speaking quite so fast?

Slow down a little, will you?

How about slowing down a little, O.K.?



Please speak a little louder.

Could you please speak a little louder?

Would you mind speaking a little more loudly?

I'm sorry, I can't hear you.

*1 can't hear a word you're saying.

Speak up, will you.



B MODELS (Read, Discuss and Perform the following model dialogues)

1 A man is calling from a pay-telephone on a busy street.


  1. W: ... and she was arrested last night...
  2. M: What did you say? I can't hear you.
  3. W: I said, “she was arrested last night."
  4. M: I'm sorry, Mary. It's really noisy here. Can you please speak a little louder.
  6. M: Yeah, now I can hear you. What did you say? She was arrested???!!!


2 A foreign businessman is talking with an American colleague.


  1. AC:  ... the model I showed you last night has all these money-saving features and more.. .
  2. FBM: Excuse me, Chris, but I'm having a hard time following what you're saying. How about speaking a little louder, and a little more slowly, too, if you don't mind.
  3. AC: I'm sorry. I sometimes forget that English is not your first language.
  4. How about we get out of the factory and go back to my office. I think we've seen everything here.
  5. FBM: Fine with me. I hope it's a little quieter there .. .



C SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES (Discuss and Perform)

How might you handle the following situations?


  1. You are talking with a friend about his family. You begin to think about something else, and you suddenly find that he's waiting for an answer to a question.
  2. You are in a new city, and you're asking a person for directions at a busy bus-stop. You're having a hard time understanding and hearing the person.
  3. You're talking with a friend long-distance on the telephone. The connection is bad.
  4. You're trying to talk with a friend who always talks a mile a minute. You want him to slow down.