I won a tongue-twister competition in school because my dad said, “Say it slowly”.
I was 6 years old at the time.
Our school announced a competition to ‘recite’ a tongue-twister.
I went home and waited all day for my dad to come back from office.
As soon as he entered the door, I told him about the competition.
I had a list of tongue-twisters written in a double-lined notebook.
I read them out to him in a super-fast tongue-twisting speed.
After I was done, my dad took my notebook and wrote a tongue-twister in it. I took a deep breath and was ready to read it fast, when my dad stopped me.
My dad said, “Read it slow.”
I found that absurd. It’s a tongue-twister… it’s meant to be said fast!
He repeated, “Read it slow. Be clear when you talk.”
I listened to him and memorised the tongue-twister.
In class, all the other students who spoke before me went fast. I started to wonder whether it would be okay if I didn’t do that.
When it was my turn, I did what I was prepared for: I spoke at a normal pace; slow and clear.
And… I won first place!
I am still not sure what ‘worked’.
What I do know is:
Speaking clearly worked.
Standing out worked.
Listening to my dad worked.