There is only one problem with being soft-spoken. It is that you are constantly being asked to repeat yourself. And, if it happens often enough, your listeners will stop listening or interrupt you and take over the conversation. Yes, your partner may not seem to be listening but have you ever considered that he or she cannot hear you? Or perhaps you never have a chance at work to finish your sentence because someone else takes over the conversation?

If you expect others to consider your message or 'hear' your ideas, they must first physically hear your words. And, if the volume of your voice is less than normal, they are not hearing you. It is truly that simple.

We all have and were born with a normal volume of sound when we speak. It takes no additional effort to talk in what I refer to as Volume Level 1. If you are soft-spoken, however, your habitual volume level is around a .8 or.85. This is not enough volume to be heard comfortably in most situations. And, I am not talking about a loud environment. I'm referring to most situations as:

    1. At the kitchen table;
    2. In the car;
    3. In the office;
    4. At the store; and,
    5. On the phone.

If you are being asked to repeat yourself in these situations, then you must first accept the fact that you are indeed soft-spoken and then make an effort to speak with more volume. At first, you will think you are shouting. This is where recording yourself can be most beneficial so I would suggest the following exercise.

  • Record someone from the TV at a comfortable listening level. Then record your own voice right next to the professional. Make sure that your microphone is the exact same distance from the source of the first voice and then yours. Play it back. How did your volume compare to the original voice? You probably spoke with less volume. Now record yourself again, concentrating on speaking with more power. Yes, you will think you are shouting. Trust me, you will not be. Play it back again and you should hear that you are indeed speaking at a normal level of sound and not yelling.

Your next step is to retrain your 'inner' ear, which is how you hear yourself inside your head, to accept more volume, to use it, and to make it a habit.

Those with bigger voices tire of straining to hear you and tire of asking you to repeat yourself. Stop wasting your time and theirs. Strive to be heard the first time you say it.

Author's Bio: 

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. You can also hear 'before & after' volume changes on Nancy's Before Page.