A problem that affects a surprising number of people is that of speaking too softly. If you are not able to be heard, then much is being lost in your life because your communication skills are not being recognized. In short, you are not effective – either professionally or personally. On the other hand, I am not recommending that you speak too loudly! |
The difficulty for those who are soft-spoken is understanding how much volume is proper or is needed in any given situation.
As a voice coach, I have devised my own volume levels through the years. If Volume 1 represents a normal everyday level of speaking; i.e. at the kitchen table, in the car, in the office (depending on the noise level in that environment); and, if you are soft-spoken, you are talking at a .8 or .9 level. Clearly, if you are below a Volume Level 1, you need to learn to increase your volume to a natural, normal level of sound.
The difficulty is that when you do try to speak with more volume, your inner ear will revolt because you will think that you are too loud. Your inner ear is very comfortable with the volume with which you have been speaking during your lifetime; and, learning what is the correct level of sound necessary in various situations takes practice. It also takes a willingness to accept the fact that you must increase your volume if you want others to listen to what you have to say.
An exercise that can help you learn how to increase your volume naturally and comfortably is to record someone else’s voice from the TV, for example, by means of an external microphone. Place the mike about 6 feet from the source of the television speaker. When you do this, make sure the volume level from the TV is a comfortable listening level and then make a brief recording. Next, record your own voice, placing the microphone 6 fee away from your mouth. Now play back the recording and listen to the two voices.
You will notice that the television voice has more volume than you do. Try recording your voice again and speak with more power. Play it back, compare it and see if you are talking with as much power as the original voice. If you were successful, then start using that volume level every time you open your mouth to speak and make it a habit.
If people are unable to hear you, then your message is being lost and is exactly the same as having no voice. You have a voice; therefore, it is your responsibility to speak with enough volume so that people no longer ask you to repeat yourself.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes Your Volume Control.
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