Have you felt isolated in a group discussion because of your voice? Did people say you have a voice that is hard to understand? This can be disheartening and leave you questioning your effective communication abilities. There can be multiple reasons behind it, from heredity, height, and structural anomalies to allergies, growth of cysts, and other voice disorders. However, in most cases, it can be due to a lack of confidence and nervousness. This can further impact your career and socializing and make you feel frustrated. This guide will explain the common reasons behind this dilemma and explore strategies to improve your voice quality.
When is your voice hard to understand?
Most of us are mesmerized to watch and hear Tracee Ellis Ross delivering her public speeches. Have you ever wondered what made her such an incredible speaker? Tracee’s tremendous vocal variance from soft to hard voice and her personality through her words can immediately capture your attention.
Therefore, to stand out from the crowd and make your voice heard, you must also improve your voice modulation and tonality. A public speaker can be anyone from business executives, students, and teachers to voice-over talents, actors, and vocalists. Everyone must have a firm grasp of their volume, pitch, intensity, and speech rate to ensure no one complains that the voice is hard to understand.
Research says nearly 73% of men and 75% of women in America suffer from speech anxiety. Are you one of them? Let’s see the possible reasons for voice hard to understand cases.
Inappropriate voice volume
Your voice volume determines whether you are a loud or a soft speaker. Usually, a medium volume or a good modulation can convert from a voice hard to understand to sounding easy. Moreover, in your daily life, you can see how emphasizing a specific word in a sentence can make a whole new meaning of it.
In the same way, if you aren’t concerned about such voice modulations while public speaking, your listeners may not understand your voice. However, suppose you are speaking in front of thousands of people. In that case, your volume should be high enough to reach the last row of the room, along with proper voice modulation.
I love public speaking (meaning: The person really loves public speaking)
I love public speaking (meaning: The person is suggesting they love public speaking and the listener doesn’t)
I love public speaking (meaning: The person loves only public speaking but not other things like hiking, cooking, etc.)
Unnatural rate of speaking
If people complain that your voice is hard to understand, maybe it is because of your speaking rate. People often tend to talk too fast, especially when nervous, lacking confidence, or anxious. Your listeners may not catch hold of that pace, so they don’t understand you.
Similarly, some people speak too slowly, making listeners bored and lacking attention to what they have to say.
Therefore, you must identify the best speaking rate to keep your audiences engaged longer and understand your voice easily.
Is your voice hard to understand, or is your intention often misunderstood? It usually happens when you aren’t focusing much on your pitch and intonation. These two factors are essential to conveying your intended message on-point to the listeners.
Otherwise, it may lead to unnecessary misunderstandings and unwanted situations. Usually, your pitch goes high when you are sharing something exciting and goes down when emphasizing a severe issue.
Do you have a habit of saying “dinnt” instead of “didn’t” or “wanna” in place of “want to”? That’s a sign of poor articulation. In such cases, you don’t speak clearly to the audience, and they find your voice hard to understand. Poor articulation results from unawareness and laziness, resulting in mumbling and slurring words together. However, this kind of speech is accepted in an informal setting but not for formal public lectures.
You must also be very careful of articulation when you are speaking a language that is foreign to your natural tongue.
Sometimes, it’s not the hard voice change that can help people understand you, but improving your accent and pronunciation. However, pronunciation difficulties can result from some underlying diseases like Dysarthria, which is a neurological disorder like stroke. Additionally, the chances of mispronunciation increase if you are suffering from a hard voice or a harsh voice.
In such cases, even though you pronounce words correctly, listeners hear them differently. Therefore, you can use some tools for hard voice changer and clear your voice quality for better communication. This is especially common in English, as the language is spoken with different accents and dialects globally.
Overcoming voice hard to understand challenges
Communication becomes difficult if you speak in public and they find your voice hard to understand. Research says 15% of individuals avoid social events, weddings, and public ceremonies due to the fear of public speaking.
But you cannot be one of them, especially in today’s competitive times. Therefore, you must try changing your voice as a professional and engage your audience more in your speech. Here are a few things you can do to overcome such challenges.
Drink sufficient water before speaking
Drinking water clears your throat and lets you speak clearly in public. It prevents coughing or hoarse throat and keeps your energy levels high and your body hydrated for a long go.
Record your voice and listen to it
Most of us hate to hear our own voices, and that’s a common human psychology. However, you must hear your voice recordings, understand the gaps, and improve them with constant practice. People may find your voice hard to understand due to pronunciation, speaking tempo, voice projection, and auditory tone.
Hire a speech therapist
If you are suffering from speech disorders, you can hire a therapist. These disorders may affect your articulation, resulting in lisping, difficulty with fluency, etc. A speech therapist can make your voice more powerful, eliminate accent problems, and improve the overall quality of your speaking voice.
Use an AI-powered app for practicing
You can now easily track your voice levels throughout the day with AI-powered apps like Voece. These apps run in the background when they recognize your voice to measure your volume, pitch, intensity, and speech rate. However, you don’t need to worry about its security because they aren’t interested in what you say but just with your voice. By the end of the day, you can check these levels and prepare yourself accordingly for any presentation, meeting, or event.
Relax your voice with vocal exercises
When people find your voice hard to understand, don’t stress out immediately. You try vocal exercises like humming, lip buzzing, tongue trails, yawning, deep breathing, and gently massaging your throat. These exercises help you relax your voice and allow you to speak clearly to your audience.
It is essential to determine why people find your voice hard to understand to improve your public speaking. In most cases, your tone, rate of speaking, accent, mispronunciation, and articulation might affect your usual fluency. When you start mumbling or can’t change your voice as needed, people find it challenging to understand what you are trying to say. However, try our Voece app to practice and improve your voice and be a pro at your next presentation or meeting.