There are ways to improve the speed at which you can cue your speech. Many of these strategies are discussed in this section of the manual. One effective method is to push yourself huring practice sprints: force yourself to cue-and-speak a little faster than seems comfortable at the moment. Knowning your own rate -- as compared to other cuers -- may also serve as an impetus to work for greater speed.
A statistical check of people who were rated as Borderline, Minimal-Proficient, and Proficient cuers shows mimimum speeds as follows:
If you own a tape recorder the best way to check your current standing is to do the following:
- Borderline = 5 cued syllables in 10 seconds
- Mini-Proficient = 10 syllables in 10 seconds
- Proficient = 17 syllables in 10 seconds
Once you have established your comfortable speed limit begin practice at this speed and push yourself to cue the next five sets of sentences at a faster clip. Don't watch the clock! Push until you feel yourself making cueing errors. Then "let up on the gas pedal."
- Insert a blank tape and begin to record.
- Cue-and-say sentences printed below at your comfortable rate. Avoid reading from the printed page; cue-and-say each sentence from memory with your eyes closed.
- Stop recorder and rewind tape for playback.
- Check each spoken sentence with a stopwatch or clock with a second hand.
- Mark the sentence (or group of sentences) you could cue-and-say in exactly 10 seconds.
Record those sentences which you "push-practiced" and time them with a stopwatch again Warning! Don't be too impressed with your seeming progress because there will definitely be a false "practice effect" involved. However, two weeks later, when you check your speed again, the results will be more reliable. Check your progress periodically until you can comfortably cue-and-say the 18 syllable sentences in 10 seconds or less. Then advance to the narrative checks of speed in the next section.
These sentences were selected from a dictionary of American proverbs because of their appropriate syllable lengths -- not necessarily because of the sentiments expressed!3 syl Sink or swim. Watch your step. Time will tell. Steel whets steel. Might makes right. 4 syl Never say die. First come, first served. Murder will out. Cold hands, warm heart.
Borderline Cuers5 syl Forgive and forget. Keep your powder dry. Practice what you preach. All's well that ends well. 6 syl Out of sight,out of mind. Every tide has its ebb. In union there is strength. A stitch in time saves nine. Every dog has its day. 7 syl Blood is thicker than water. Tomorrow is another day. His bark is worse than his bite. Two heads are better than one. 8 syl Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. Today is worth two tomorrows. Don't add insult to injury. There are other fish in the sea. April showers bring May flowers. 9 syl The first day a guest,the third a pest. All are not hunters that blow the horn. Variety is the spice of life. Better a bad buy than a good loan. Minimum-Proficient Cuers10 syl A base on balls is as good as a hit. A fool and his money are soon parted. Be the last to come and the first to go. 11 syl There is a limit to grief but not to fear. Concealed grudges are dangerous to friendship. The unbidden guest is a bore and a pest. The man who disagrees with you is a bore. Don't pick women or houses by candlelight. Molasses catches more flies than vinegar. Cleverness does not take the place of knowledge. 12 syl Something is learned every time a book is opened. Money spent on the brain is never spent in vain. Everybody's business is nobody's business. Who keeps company with a wolf will learn to howl. 13 syl The price of your hat isn't the measure of your brain. The innocent bystander often gets beaten up. He who would be too clever makes a fool of himself. 14 syl If you work for two bosses you must lie to one of them. Prosperity tries your virtue more than calamity. Even a buck private can be the captain of his soul. 15 syl The brave man is darig enough to forgive an injury. Much water has passed under the bridge since Hector was a pup. A handful of common sense is worth a bushel of learning. Virtue, not pedigree, should characterize nobility. 16 syl Nothing can overtake an untruth if it has a minute's start. It takes a good many shovelsfull of earth to bury the truth. The old cow will never admit that she was once a silly calf. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Preachers can talk but never teach unless they practice what they preach. Proficient Cuers17 syl A change in fortune hurts a wise man no more than a change of the moon. The man born to misfortune will fall on his back and fracture his nose. When a big stone falls from the mountain many small stones fall after it. 18 syl A captain of industry is nothing but a buck private to his wife. The man who carries coal to Newcastle will pour water on a drowned mouse. Women love men not because they are men but because they are not women.