Know Your Vocal Volume
by Laura Bresee
September 21, 2015

What do you do when someone says, “I can’t hear you! Speak up!”

a. Yell

b. Adjust your vocal volume for the situation

c. Do nothing (that person obviously cannot hear)

Answer: B

Few of us are intuitively aware how to modify our voice volume in everyday situations. However, many of us (hopefully) have a perception of distance and awareness of our environment. Use that knowledge to be heard and understood!

Be aware of your environment

My clients hear me say, “Survey Your Environment,” no less than a thousand times during training. With increased awareness and experience, a speaker will begin to adopt an intuitive sense how to adjust their voice volume for the situation. For example, a seasoned driver intuitively adjusts his speed based on traffic, speed zones, and presence of adverse driving conditions. Similarly, a seasoned speaker knows how to naturally adjust his volume for the listening audience, distance between his mouth and the listeners’ ears, and presence of adverse listening conditions.

The next time you are told, “speak up” or “lower your voice,” draw awareness to the environment you around you. Know your volume and adjust your your loudness level accordingly. At the very least, you did something!

Memphis Speech Solutions

1661 International Drive, Suite 400
Memphis, TN 38120

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