Many times people are not being heard because they speak too softly. There is another group, however, who are not being heard because they are not speaking distinctly and clearly. They are known as the mumblers. If you are being asked to repeat yourself because your words are not being understood, then you should do something to stop your lazy lip syndrome.
From my experience, I have found that mumbling is much more common among men than among women. [Ladies, I am not letting you off the hook. Women who are not speaking clearly are often plagued with ‘lockjaw’ which results from tension in the neck and shoulder regions and a tight jaw – your lips are moving but your mouth is going nowhere!]
The best exercise for curing mumbling is simple and most effective. Place the knuckle of your index finger in your mouth and say the following nursery rhyme. (Yes, you will sound and feel ridiculous so do this when you are alone!)
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses, And all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Now say the nursery rhyme again without your knuckle in your mouth. You should notice an amazing difference in how you say it the 2nd time. Practice this exercise several times every day, saying it first with your knuckle and immediately following without. Train your inner ear to listen more closely to yourself when you are speaking. It is this awareness that will make the change in your speech a habit.
If your speech is marred due to mumbling, your message is not being heard. In addition, there are only so many times your listener will ask you to repeat yourself before he/she will take over the conversation. If you expect others to listen, why not give them something they can understand 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 and watch Nancy as she describes Your Least Developed Tool!