𝑯𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒃𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒌𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒊𝒕 𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒃𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒂𝒈𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒅𝒐 𝒊𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒑𝒆𝒓❓ 🤔
That’s probably because you don’t know HOW to keep it down AND still manage to be heard clearly at the same time! 🗣
Many people need to speak softer for various reasons but most of the time they just don’t know how. 🙅
For example, you may need to speak at a lower volume for a meeting 🧑🏻💼 👩🏻💼, or to have a private conversation in a very crowded space, or simply because the person you are speaking with has very sensitive ears 👂🏻 and can’t deal with loud noises 🙅 🔊
So, if you need help with sounding clear, and confident WHILE at the same time speaking at a lower volume and not whispering…. Stay tuned.
QUICK VIDEO SUMMARY
Here are the tips we discuss in this video:
1. Analysis of volume needed for the task at hand
2. Adding back pressure and support for clarity of sound
3. Using the articulators as a braking system.
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FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Today, we are talking about how to speak clearly and confidently at a lower volume without whispering. Many people call this speaking with a softer tone of voice but here is where I am going to put a HUGE spanner in the works. When we say the word SOFT, it actually implies to a lot of people that the sound of your voice will contain lots of airflow and noise like whispering. So, instead of using the word SOFTER we are going to use the descriptive: LESS VOLUME.
Here is where I am going to do a MASSIVE MYTH BUSTER for you. Just because we are speaking at a lower volume, does not mean that we are harder to understand or hear and it does NOT mean that we are whispering. In fact, whispering is really bad for your voice! There is absolutely no need to do that ever!
Let’s dive in to the training, shall we?
LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW MUCH VOLUME DO WE ACTUALLY NEED
You could grab a decibel meter out and measure how many decibels you are speaking at before we adjust the volume. A normal everyday conversation is between 50 and 60 decibels. When you are projecting for a work presentation or stage performance you may raise that volume by choice from 60 to 80 decibels to make sure the audience can hear you clearly.
To give you another example: an Opera singer performs on stage at approximately 100 decibels. No wonder they can be heard over the orchestra with no amplification or microphone! On the other side of the scale, a whisper is mostly forced air through very stiff and tense vocal folds and reaches only about 30 decibels.
What we want to do, is keep the volume down to about 40 decibels or so but with a clear and healthy tone of voice, not forced airflow like a whisper that can ruin your voice!
Here are the two things you need to learn to make this happen:
#1: Let’s start with switching our engine ON for speaking
First, take a relaxed breath in and count to 10. When you are doing this exercise, I want you to ask the following questions: What do you notice? How does it sound? Does it sound clear? Does it sound airy?
Place your hands on your hips and this time I want you to monitor if your side muscles are working or not and count to 5. If you feel your side muscles engage even a little bit, then you are doing the right thing, your voice will be clear and you are switching on the correct muscles for powering the voice. This is because you are using back pressure and support to really articulate clearly. It doesn’t matter about the volume because you are using your engine correctly. If you are doing it wrong, nothing will be happening to your side muscles because you are using too much air. No back pressure, no support. The bottom line is this: If you feel those side muscles engage even just a little bit, you are switching on the correct muscles for powering the voice. If you feel that the side muscles are sloppy, soft and lazy, in other words, nothing is switching on then you might need some voice training.
Here’s the thing: When you are using back pressure and support to power your voice, your voice will sound clear and projected no matter what the volume! Every time you speak, louder or less loud, you can clearly be heard by your listener.
I want you to practice in 3 ways: practice at volume 10, then at volume 5 then at volume 3, all with proper engagement of your support muscles.
So, stop whispering and start speaking with a clear properly supported tone
#2: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE EQUATION IS THE ARTICULATORS
If you are clearly articulating your words when you speak, you won’t ever need to whisper. It’s unnecessary and completely avoidable.
Many people over articulate when they need to be less loud but at the same time, they force way too much air through their folds which tires out the vocal folds very fast! Any speech therapist will tell you the dangers of whispering. It’s a very well-known fact in voice circles. So, what you need to do is practice using your teeth, tongue, lips and jaw effectively and mindfully when you’re speaking to make sure your voice is clear, projected and easy to understand. Clarity and volume are extremely important in speaking tasks. If you want to sound like a leader in business and at work, then start by speaking with good pronunciation and articulation.
Whatever you do, AVOID WHISPERING.
Do not forget: Speak up. Speak out. Be ready to be heard because remember: YOUR VOICE MATTERS.