Are you frustrated because others constantly ask you to repeat yourself? Especially because you think they should have heard or understood you the 1st time? If you frequently hear, “What did you say?” then maybe it is time for you to discover exactly why your message is not being received.
There are only 3 possibilities for someone to ask you to say it again.
1. You are not being heard because you speak too softly. In this particular situation, it is only the caring individual who will ask you to repeat yourself. Most of us with louder voices, will just take over the conversation because we tire of straining to hear you, tire of asking you to repeat yourself. If you want others to hear you the 1st time you say it, then you must learn to increase your volume to a ‘normal’ level of sound. That’s right. Presently, you speak at an abnormal volume.
2. You are speaking too quickly. If you are talking at more than 180 words per minute, you are too fast. Normal speed is anywhere between 140 and 180 words per minute. If you are pushing along at 220, your listeners are unable to keep up with you. True, those of us who live along the mid-Atlantic corridor are probably a little better at this, but the rest of the country is at a loss to catch your message. For the sake of everyone else, learn how to control your speed. Trust me, 180 words per minute is still a very quick pace!
3. You do no enunciate your words distinctly. Either you are afflicted with lazy lips in which you mumble or English is not your 1st language in which case your diction may be suffering. And, if English is not your mother tongue and you are afflicted with condition #2 as well, then your speech is not only indistinct but it is also too fast to boot!
One method of solving any or all of the problems listed above is by means of voice training. When you learn to breathe with the support of your diaphragm and use your chest cavity to power your sound, you will notice an automatic increase in your volume. Rest assured, you will not be speaking loudly, just in a normal volume of sound.
The same technique will also give you control over your speed. You will slow down. It just happens. And, your diction will improve dramatically, whether English is your 1st language or not.
Stop repeating yourself; learn to speak so that you are understood the 1st time you say it!
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 or watch Nancy in a brief video as she describes The Power of Your Voice.