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"Can You Keep It Down Please?"
Help For Loudmouths

by Susan Berkley

While many people complain of being too soft-spoken, others have voices that naturally carry. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can be annoying to family members and co-workers, especially if you have a booming voice in a cubicle- based office environment.

There are several things you can do to tame a voice that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Loud speakers often say they come from a garrulous and boisterous family environment, where the dinner hour is more raucous than restful. At Thanksgiving dinner I found myself jumping to my feet and frantically waving my arms above my head like a football referee in order to make a point during an especially heated discussion.

As I mentioned in a previous article for soft speakers, turning our vocal volume up or down, is a matter of resonance. But while soft speakers need to learn how to use wave resonance to carry their voices, loud speakers need to learn to control the sound waves to keep them more contained.

This is done through vocal placement. You can actually soften the sound of the voice without sacrificing resonance by placing your voice towards the back of your throat, rather than out and forward.

Booming to sauve in seconds

Here's how to go from booming to suave in seconds.

Imagine yourself in close proximity to a "special someone." There's soft music. Candlelight. Now say a few words. It's not quite a whisper, but it's certainly not the same voice you'd use to make yourself heard at a noisy dinner table.

This is what speaking "from the back of the throat" feels like. Once you've found the back of your throat, you can adjust your voice so it doesn't sound too sultry for normal conversation.

Loud speakers also need to remember to adjust their volume level in relationship to ambient noise. Before you speak, listen. Speak just slightly above the ambient noise in a room, no louder.

By the way, a loud, booming voice can be an indicator of a hearing loss. To rule this out, ask your doctor for a hearing test.

From The VoiceCoach Newsletter by Susan Berkley. Reprinted with permission. Copyright 2008 All Rights reserved.

Susan Berkley is the author of Speak To Influence:How To Unlock The Hidden Power of Your Voice. available from your favorite bookseller. For a free subscription to The Voice Coach Newsletter visit www.speaktoinfluence.com.

Some Related Articles:

Help for a Soft Voice
Can a Happy Voice Be a Liability?
Help for a Shaky Voice
Voice Too High? How to Safely Lower Your Pitch
Guidelines for Gesturing When You Speak in Public


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