Many years ago when I first started my business, I had a most eye-opening experience that I will never forget. It happened on a consecutive Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, I had been working with a group from Nortel in voice and presentation skills. One of the men from the group told me that, in the previous week, he had found others listening to him. That had never happened before. Apparently for Jim, whenever he was in conference, everyone talked over him.

The next day I had a private client by the name of Marie. Marie told me that during the previous weekend, she had had her family over for dinner and she held the topic of conversation at the table. In Marie’s case, that had never happened before because she admitted to me that in the past, her family had always talked over her.

What was wonderful to see in both cases was that Jim’s and Marie’s self-confidence had increased tenfold just by increasing their volume of sound. This was a new experience for me as my prior experience had been teaching voice to broadcast journalism students. They came in with big egos and big voices. Being soft-spoken was not an issue.

The discovery for me was that those who are soft-spoken often think they are being talked over or interrupted because what they are saying is of no value when in fact, that is not the case. If you are soft-spoken, you are being talked over because those of us with bigger voices tire of straining to hear you, tire of asking you to repeat yourself. And we will take over the conversation.

The ability to speak in a normal level of sound is possible for every single person. If you are soft-spoken, however, the difficulty will be in accepting that your increase in volume is not too loud.

Of the 1,000’s of people with whom I have worked, every single one who has been soft-spoken thought they were shouting when I asked them to increase their volume. When I played back their video, however, each one was surprised because they expected their recording to be too loud when indeed they discovered it was a normal level of sound.

This is the tricky part if you want to learn how to increase your volume properly. When I teach people how to find their ‘real’ voice, their inner ear loves their new sound. When I teach the soft-spoken how to increase their volume, their inner ear revolts.

  • Your inner ear is how you recognize your voice in your head – your outer ear is how you hear yourself on a recording.
  • Your inner ear is very comfortable with your soft voice. Increase the volume and it will not like it. This is where recording yourself and playing it back can be so beneficial. It is only when you hear yourself in a recording and can appreciate that your larger volume is not loud, just normal, that you will be able to retrain your inner ear to accept your increase in sound.

    Is learning how to speak in a normal volume of sound worthwhile? Only if you want others to hear what you have to say!

    Author's Bio: 

    The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels of offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement.