When we speak, our voice has the function of an air-conditioning
unit. When it is too thin and flat, the atmosphere cools off. The door
to the hearts of the audience closes like a creaking door in a haunted
castle. It is recommended to avoid the following 7 speaking faults.
voice, its sound, its expressiveness are not inborn, but we learned it
since we were little. We learn to speak by listening and also take over
faulty speaking habits from the people in our lives in this way. It is
useful to work on one's one voice because people attribute quite
specific properties to the sound of a voice. "When you give somebody a
new voice", says not only Professor Higgins in the musical 'My Fair
Lady', "you give them a new character too".
The things your voice reveals
can smile when you feel like crying; you can remain indifferent when
someone provokes you. But as soon as you begin to speak, all
self-control is of no use to you any more. Your voice reveals the
spirits you are in and determines the effect you will have. First, we
have to hear somebody speak. It is only then that we can form a
complete impression of someone in our minds. The voice is part of
somebody's complete personality. Not without good reason did Socrates
say: "Speak in order that I may see you." It is recommended to avoid
the following 7 speaking faults:
- Articulation is negligent. Mumbling or swallowing final syllables
(livin' instead of living) makes understanding more difficult.
- Whispering of words. When you speak in a whispery voice, the
audience perceives the flow of air, and it sounds "over-ventilated" and
hoarse as a result.
- The voice level is constantly sharp, it sounds squeaky. It
is easier for people with a deeper voice to win other people's
- You speak in a voice that is too low. This "little-girl
voice" can be interpreted as sense of insecurity on the speaker's part.
When women speak like that, however, this often makes an impression of
sexiness on men, however. So it may be suitable for landing yourself
the man of your dreams, but not for really making yourself heard in a
- Your way of speaking is monotonous. You do not raise and
lower your voice, it has no dynamic force. The reason for that may be
anxiety, indifference or tiredness.
- The voice sounds solemn and pathetic. Your speech seems to
have been learned by heart, as if you were not really behind your
- The voice sounds pinched, has too little resonance. Fear of speaking up is often hidden behind that.
Institut für Rhetorik,
Phone: 0 91 91/8 95 01,
Fax: 0 91 91/28 01,