hodu.com Your Gateway to Better Communication Skills
Home   Everyday Social Skills  Business Communication   Resource Guide   About Azriel   Videos  Blog


Assertiveness skills
Body language
Communicating with
your children

Conversation skills
Difficult People
Emotional Maturity
Enhancing your marriage
Family Life
Interpersonal relationships
Speaking skills
Writing skills


Business ethics
Business etiquette
Business writing
Communication in
the workplace

Cross-cultural communication
Conflict resolution
Creative thinking
Crisis management
Customer relations
Effective meetings
Job-hunting skills
Management strategies
Marketing communication
Negotiating skills
Networking in business
Presentation skills
Team building
Technology and communication
Telephone marketing

Relationships that really stick!
The e-book that changed lives now available as an attractive paperback

Strong,warm relationships are
a major key to happiness. No tricks, no secrets! Just solid, time-proven advice for a happier life - for you and those near and dear to you!
More details here

"A bountiful book of powerfully practical insights on how to make friends and cultivate deeper, satisfying relationships over time. It makes a great gift, basis for a course or team conversation - or a personal primer for a more meaningful life - with others."
--Kare Anderson SayItBetter.com

Buy it here or at your favorite online book store!

Can You Speak Up Please?
Help for Soft Talkers

by Susan Berkley

VoiceCoach subscriber Lorrie writes: "When in a social setting with significant background noise, I am unable to speak loud enough for others to hear me. At times it looks as though I am just mouthing words and others just nod their heads pretending to hear what I say. My requests to waiters in restaurants often go unheard. My only other option is yelling, which I do not want to do. Is there anything that I can do?"

Susan Berkley: Of course there is! And fixing this problem is easier than you think.

Most people mistakenly believe that to have a voice that carries you merely need to turn up the volume. While that's important, it only works up to a point.

To really have the kind of voice that makes people sit up and take notice you need resonance. Sound waves travel via resonance. Your body has several natural resonators: in the chest, oral cavity and sinuses.

Learning how to use these resonators properly will really improve the sound, audibility and clarity of your voice. When sound originates at the larynx it is soft and barely audible, but as the sound of your voice moves into the resonators it becomes amplified, like sound in an amphitheatre.

When your voice is placed in the facial mask, it sounds rich, vibrant, and easily heard

Just as a tennis racket has a "sweet spot" for a powerful swing, you also have a vocal sweet spot. It's called the facial mask.

The mask is your area of greatest resonance. /It's an inverted triangle with the base stretching across the sinus resonators just above your eyebrows and the point of the triangle down at your larynx. When your voice is placed in the mask it sounds rich, vibrant, and easily heard.

Here's how to find your facial mask...

Hum. Hum loudly enough until you feel a buzzing in your nose, lips and sinuses. As you hum, allow the sound to morph into a word. Any word will do. I like to hum as I count from one to ten. Mmm-one, mmm-two, mmm-three and so on. Now your voice is properly placed, and when you speak it should be notably louder and richer-sounding.

Try to remember how your voice feels when it is "in the mask" and reposition it as you speak throughout the day. Voice coach Dr. Morton Cooper suggests keeping your voice in tune by saying "mmm" to indicate that you are listening while others are talking.

"Mmm. That's very interesting. Tell me more."

A few words about vocal volume level...

Soft speakers often don't adjust their volume in relation to ambient noise. Before you speak, listen and notice the noise level around you. Then, aim to speak just slightly louder than the ambient noise in the room. This varies depending on the situation. Louder in a noisy restaurant, softest in a library.

Yell only in emergencies. It can damage the vocal chords, as anyone who has ever become hoarse after a night of cheering at a sporting event has painfully discovered.

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:

Does Your Voice Run Out of Gas?
My Favorite Vocal Warm-Up
Seven Ways For Making the Most of Your Voice
Help for an Excessively Loud Voice
Can a Happy Voice be a Liability?
Voice Too High? How to Safely Lower Your Pitch

Search for further content on the topic of your choice:
Home   Effective Communication Skills  Business Communication   Resource Guide    About Azriel