If others have difficulty hearing you, how effective do you think your communication skills are? You can have a wonderful delivery at the lectern, superb telephone techniques, and/or marvelous negotiating skills on a one-to-one basis, but if others cannot hear you, then it doesn’t matter how good the delivery.
One man with whom I worked believed that speaking softly made people be quiet and listen to him. Maybe, but only temporarily. Teachers often try the same thing. If it does work, the success of speaking softly is short-lived.
The correct volume is especially important today with the amount of noise with which we are constantly being bombarded – from our daily use of electronics and white noise in our offices to loud music at events and functions, to the boom boxes in the car next to you which manages to negate what you are trying to hear in your own car. Noise is a factor of our lives today and speaking in a soft-spoken voice is definitely not the answer if you want to communicate effectively.
I am not suggesting that you speak in a loud voice by any means. If you are soft-spoken, then it is important for you to understand that the amount of volume you use in conversation is below normal – below average.
Your listeners really want to hear you the 1st time you say it and don’t want to have to continually ask you to repeat yourself. Time is precious and repeating yourself over and over is a waste of time. If your listeners struggle to hear you, it is quite possible that you can lose valuable business or even a new job. The choice between two candidates, one of whom speaks with a normal volume of sound and you, who is not being heard, is no choice. The other candidate will most likely get the job, the promotion or the contract.
Being soft-spoken can tell your listeners that you are shy, weak, diffident or even introverted. These adjectives might describe you; but, what if they don’t? To be labeled incorrectly because of a soft-spoken voice is definitely unfair but it happens. It is also important to understand that you were not born soft-spoken. You have a normal volume level of sound within you; however, you have chosen not to use it. And it is a habit.
Break the habit; increase your volume so that you are heard the 1st time; and, your rewards will be many.
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. If you would like to see some wonderful 'before' & 'after' video clips of soft-spoken individuals, check out Mohammad, Kurt, and Dawn at Voice Dynamic.