Can You Keep it Down Please? Help for Loudmouths

Can You Keep it Down Please? Help for Loudmouths
By Susan Berkley

While many people complain of being too soft-spoken, others have voices that naturally carry. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can be annoying to family members and co-workers, especially if you have a booming voice in a cubicle- based office environment. There are several things you can do to tame a voice that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Loud speakers often say they come from a garrulous and boisterous family environment, where the dinner hour is more raucous than restful. At Thanksgiving dinner I found myself jumping to my feet and frantically waving my arms above my head like a football referee in order to make a point during an especially heated discussion.

As I mentioned in the previous article for soft speakers, turning our vocal volume up or down, is a matter of resonance. But while soft speakers need to learn how to use wave resonance to carry their voices, loud speakers need to learn to control the sound waves to keep them more contained.

This is done through vocal placement. You can actually soften the sound of the voice without sacrificing resonance by placing your voice towards the back of your throat, rather than out and forward.

Here’s how to go from booming to suave in seconds. Imagine yourself in close proximity to a “special someone.” There’s soft music. Candlelight. Now say a few words. It’s not quite a whisper, but it’s certainly not the same voice you’d use to make yourself heard at a noisy dinner table.

This is what speaking “from the back of the throat” feels like. Once you’ve found the back of your throat, you can adjust your voice so it doesn’t sound too sultry for normal conversation.

Loud speakers also need to remember to adjust their volume level in relationship to ambient noise. Before you speak, listen. Speak just slightly above the ambient noise in a room, no louder.

By the way, a loud, booming voice can be an indicator of a hearing loss. To rule this out, ask your doctor for a hearing test.


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Susan Berkley is a top voice over artist and founder of The Great Voice Company, a company devoted to teaching great voices around the world how to become successful voice over actors. The Great Voice Company is an international leader in voice over training and in providing top quality voice over recordings in all languages to discerning businesses and marketers. For additional information visit www.greatvoice.com

Copyright 2012, The Great Voice Company. All Rights Reserved. Can You Keep it Down Please? Help for Loudmouths.

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