Tired of repeating yourself? Not sure if mumbling is the problem? If you are asked to repeat yourself a lot, you may be soft-spoken, you may be speaking unclearly because of an accent, you may be talking too fast, or you may be a mumbler. It is also possible that some or all of the above affect your speech.

If you are unsure if you mumble, a simple test would be to record yourself saying something you know from memory and then listen to the playback. What did you hear? Or better yet, what did you not hear? If you have a camcorder, by all means use that piece of equipment over the audio recorder so that you can watch your mouth as you speak.

Should you have no means of recording yourself, say something you know from memory in front of a mirror. Don’t exaggerate. Just say it as you normally would and watch your lips. Are they moving?

When I worked with Jack, he refused to believe that he was mumbling. It was amazing to watch him as he spoke because his lips hardly moved. Needless to say, his diction was very difficult to understand. His wife had complained about his mumbling for years. It was only when Jack saw himself on video that he finally realized that his wife had been correct. The next week Jack returned and the mumbling was gone. He opened his mouth and spoke clearly and distinctly from then on.

The good news for Jack was that he got a promotion within just a few weeks of the change. In addition, he discovered a wonderfully deep, resonant voice in the process that sounded better than his colleagues.

To put an end to mumbling, try the following exercise.

Place your knuckle (or a pen or pencil) in your mouth, clamping down on it with your teeth, and say the following nursery rhyme. (It will feel awkward and sound silly.)

Bah, bah black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full;
One for the master and one for the dame,
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane.

Now say the rhyme again without your knuckle or the pen or pencil in your mouth. You should notice an amazing difference the second time around. Your mouth and lips will respond by opening fully so as not to be subjected to that exercise again! You should practice this simple exercise several times throughout the day. It works.

Mumbling should not be ignored. If you are not being understood – if you are being asked to repeat yourself a lot, then you need to make the change. If you want others to pay attention the first time you say it, stop the mumbling and speak with distinction. You may be surprised how it can change your life, both professionally and personally.

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 The Power of Your Speaking Voice.

Website Directory for Public Speaking
Articles on Public Speaking
Products for Public Speaking
Discussion Board
Nancy Daniels, the Official Guide To Public Speaking