You should never talk fast.
Whether it be from jittery nerves (at least the first few, couple of times starting on clinics), too many thoughts racing through your head at once, the way you grew up in the fast-paced-fast-talking Northeast, or just simple habit, talking too quickly has a lot more problems than we think.
First and foremost, clients can’t understand what you’re saying. This is especially true when using big doctor words typically reserved for clinicians and colleagues outside the exam room. Secondly, it can make you seem aggressive and impatient, which completely turns clients off. Clients turned off are clients tuned out. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, talking too quickly makes clients anxious. They become more worried than they already are and this is completely counterintuitive to your practice of veterinary medicine.
This is advice received during an appointment by a 65-year old client and her cat and it speaks volumes to how detrimental the seemingly innocuous act of speaking too quickly really is. Furthermore, it highlights something we should ALWAYS do during an appointment – be available and receptive. When it comes down to it, we as veterinarians are offering advice to our clients (and their pets) to improve their overall health and well-being. Who’s to say we shouldn’t take advice from our clients in return? Clearly, there’s a beneficial relationship here.