Does Your LOUD Voice Make Your Listeners Cringe?

Have you ever had a telephone conversation and the person on the other end of the line was speaking too loudly? What is your first reaction? Probably, to move the phone away from your ear. Talking too loudly is just as ineffective as speaking too softly except for one primary difference: the loud voice physically hurts your listeners’ ears.

If there is a problem with volume, I have found that it generally tends to be with those who are soft-spoken. In that case, others will often move closer, straining to hear what you are saying. What is happening, however, is that your message is being lost because your words are not being heard clearly.

Something similar is happening if you speak too loudly. People are not hearing what you are saying because their concentration is on their discomfort of listening to you. In both instances, however, whether you are too loud or too soft, your volume level is definitely affecting how your message is being heard and, to a greater extent, if it is being heard.

We have different volume levels for various situations. For everyday use of the voice, most people use what I refer to as Volume Level 1. This is the amount of sound we would use at the kitchen table, in the car, on the telephone, or even speaking to a clerk at the grocery store. Volume 1 is effortless. It is normal; it is natural.

If you have been told that your voice is too loud, learning how to decrease your volume to a normal level of sound would be in your best interest. A good way to test to see if you are too loud would be to record the voice of someone who speaks in a normal volume of sound and then record yourself. It is very important that both you and the other speaker record your voices the exact same distance from the microphone.

Play it back at a comfortable listening level, adjusting your output levels according to the volume of the other speaker – not yourself. If you speak too loudly, you will notice quite a difference in volume between you and the other individual.

While you can certainly train yourself to decrease your volume, one of the best techniques to make this change is to discover your ‘real’ voice. By allowing your chest to power your sound, instead of just your throat, mouth and nose, your volume will decrease naturally. The loud edges or angles, the stridency, will be gone and your voice will become warmer, richer, deeper, and resonant.

If the volume of your voice makes your listeners cringe, learning how to decrease your level of sound will allow your words to be heard. Ask yourself what is more important – getting your message across comfortably or having others recoil when they hear you speak?

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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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