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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very soft voice but I don’t know if it’s the SA or maybe I’m just naturally soft spoken. I really wish I was as loud and outspoken as my dad but because I spent most of my life with my mom, I guess I just took after her who’s also very shy and soft spoken.

From being basically a selective mute in elementary school and junior high to being how I am now, I’ve come a pretty long way. I didn’t see it like this years ago but my therapist and school counselor made me sorta change how I see myself. I have one more semester to go before I graduate. Got the grades to get into almost anywhere afterwards, I think, but my shyness and soft spoken voice is holding me back, and that sucks bc I’ve sacrificed so much to get where I am now.

I had an interview w my school’s premed committee couple of weeks ago and it didn’t go so well. One of the prof’s kept on telling me to speak up. I really tried to project my voice but I couldn’t. She got annoyed and basically said that I need to be more confident or else people won’t take me seriously, if I’m w patients, I need to show that I know what I’m talking about and even said I can’t come across as a wimpy kid. Wimpy--that’s how people see me. The other prof’s were being great w me, it was just her that threw me off but she was right and in the interview I said that I know I need to work on my projection and stuff. I was really nervous. I’ll have my 2nd interview around March and she’s def going to be there. I don’t know how I can be more louder.

Almost every time I share this whole soft voice thing w someone (well I think I’ve only told this to like 3 or 4 ppl at school), they tell me that they know I can speak louder, they ask me to scream lol or ask me if I can be loud at home, or if I scream at home. When I’m at home, I feel like I speak normally but then again almost everyone is soft spoken… and I def do scream and even sing often at home lol.

Has anyone else had this problem of having a soft voice? Have you gotten better? I don’t know what to do aside from maybe watching YouTube vids on how to project my voice lol. I’m really worried about the next interview. I need to do great so that I can get a good lor but they’ll want to see that I have improved :( Would meds help? I tried prozac and paxil before but they never really helped much, maybe I should try them again? Has anyone tried a voice coach or public speaking courses?
 

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In my opinion, having a soft spoken voice is just a symptom of a lot of neurotic tension that has built up over the years. What you need to do is SCREAM!!!!!!!

Find yourself a place where you can just yell as loud as you want. What you will find is that you may lose your voice and for a few days when you talk people will think you have a cold or flu but then when it heals, your voice will be a little bit stronger. Keep doing this and you will notice that your recovery time decreases and you can yell for a longer amount of time. This will wire you to be more outspoken and less resistant to saying whats on your mind. Very useful for breaking tension in the body associated with keeping things bottled up.

Hope that helps!
 

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Also wanted to add that I used to be very soft spoken but its like weight training. You put your body under a certain stress and then let it recover so that it gets stronger. People who have loud and powerful voices tend to not be reserved. So learn to not be reserved by doing the exercise posted above and your voice will become more powerful and assertive!
 

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I've always been soft spoken and it bothered me most in class during presentations when the teacher would say something about not hearing me 3 feet away so i need to speak over the AC. Other times if I want to make sure I'm heard with out having to repeat it I end up being too loud lol can't find that nice middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my opinion, having a soft spoken voice is just a symptom of a lot of neurotic tension that has built up over the years. What you need to do is SCREAM!!!!!!!

Find yourself a place where you can just yell as loud as you want. What you will find is that you may lose your voice and for a few days when you talk people will think you have a cold or flu but then when it heals, your voice will be a little bit stronger. Keep doing this and you will notice that your recovery time decreases and you can yell for a longer amount of time. This will wire you to be more outspoken and less resistant to saying whats on your mind. Very useful for breaking tension in the body associated with keeping things bottled up.

Hope that helps!
That's interesting, never heard of screaming to increase voice volume. Wouldn't doing that a lot cause serious damage to the vocal cords or other vocal tissues though? Do you know if there are any articles on this? I would really like to learn more about that. And thanks for replying btw :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've always been soft spoken and it bothered me most in class during presentations when the teacher would say something about not hearing me 3 feet away so i need to speak of the AC. Other times if I want to make sure I'm heard with out having to repeat it I end up being too loud lol can't find that nice middle.
Yes! That happens to me a lot. I hate it when I'm trying to participate in class and then I'm asked if I could repeat myself. So I tend to sit in front of most of my classes bc really I only care that the prof hears me. This semester I had to do 7 presentations (most I have ever had to do in 1 semester). For one of my classes tho, I had an amazing professor that encouraged me to practice in front of her before some of them.

But also when I try to speak loudly I feel like I'm straining myslef
 

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That's interesting, never heard of screaming to increase voice volume. Wouldn't doing that a lot cause serious damage to the vocal cords or other vocal tissues though? Do you know if there are any articles on this? I would really like to learn more about that. And thanks for replying btw :)
Don't have any articles but I and a few others I know do it as part of meditation.

If you scream way too much for way too long then I can see it as being bad for vocal chords. However same applies to weightlifting if you lift too much and don't allow rest and proper nutrition.

Maybe instead of screaming, I should say yelling. Start yelling for about a minute or two and then take as many days off as required for recovery. Once recover do it again and when you find your recovery time getting quicker you can increase your yelling time as well.

Humans were meant to yell, just not excessively. I wouldn't worry about permanent damage, it will temporarily make you lose your voice or sound like you have the flu but just let it recover. This has helped me immensely.

Then you have to practice saying things while yelling. At first it may sound awkward but it's just Cognitive Dissonance. After a few times you will find it easy to say things loudly and confidently without that awkward feeling :D.
 

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I have the same problem and it sucks... I just can't seem to speak up, no matter what I do. It keeps me from talking to people because they never hear me and it just makes me a hundred times more anxious when people tell me to repeat myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't have any articles but I and a few others I know do it as part of meditation.

If you scream way too much for way too long then I can see it as being bad for vocal chords. However same applies to weightlifting if you lift too much and don't allow rest and proper nutrition.

Maybe instead of screaming, I should say yelling. Start yelling for about a minute or two and then take as many days off as required for recovery. Once recover do it again and when you find your recovery time getting quicker you can increase your yelling time as well.

Humans were meant to yell, just not excessively. I wouldn't worry about permanent damage, it will temporarily make you lose your voice or sound like you have the flu but just let it recover. This has helped me immensely.

Then you have to practice saying things while yelling. At first it may sound awkward but it's just Cognitive Dissonance. After a few times you will find it easy to say things loudly and confidently without that awkward feeling :D.
Ok, thanks I think I'll try that then lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have the same problem and it sucks... I just can't seem to speak up, no matter what I do. It keeps me from talking to people because they never hear me and it just makes me a hundred times more anxious when people tell me to repeat myself.
Yea, I get annoyed sometimes when people ask me to repeat myself (are you deaf?!), but I know its me :(
 

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It's comforting to know that there are other people here with the same experiences as myself, although I wish that it wasn't causing anxiety or embarrassment for any of us.
I always found it quite hard to believe that I was speaking quietly, because in my head I sounded the same as everybody else. Teachers would ask me to repeat things; other pupils would even put up their hands and say "I can't hear him, Miss," if I was reading something out to the class, and so on. The way that I was hearing it in my head, I sounded completely normal!

I have adapted to it by not trying to strain to be heard - instead, I relax my voice and allow it to slip into its more bassy registers (straining your voice tends to produce a thinner and higher sound), and for some reason, these deeper registers seem to carry more easily without requiring you to speak louder.

That's interesting, never heard of screaming to increase voice volume. Wouldn't doing that a lot cause serious damage to the vocal cords or other vocal tissues though? Do you know if there are any articles on this? I would really like to learn more about that. And thanks for replying btw :)
I am sure that screaming or yelling would work, if you stuck at it, but I think that singing (and really trying to project a strong, pure note) would be a healthier approach. :)

Good luck everybody, and happy new year!
 

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Yea, I get annoyed sometimes when people ask me to repeat myself (are you deaf?!), but I know its me :(
Ah yes, this happens to me all the time too!
I always pause for a couple of seconds before repeating what I said, and it is amazing how often people will suddenly realise what you said after a second's reflection and reply to you without requiring you to repeat yourself. People just don't make a habit of listening carefully, but they actually heard you perfectly well - they just need to process it that tiny bit more.

Try this out some time, and I'm sure that you will find that you don't have to repeat yourself nearly as much as you think. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ah yes, this happens to me all the time too!
I always pause for a couple of seconds before repeating what I said, and it is amazing how often people will suddenly realise what you said after a second's reflection and reply to you without requiring you to repeat yourself. People just don't make a habit of listening carefully, but they actually heard you perfectly well - they just need to process it that tiny bit more.

Try this out some time, and I'm sure that you will find that you don't have to repeat yourself nearly as much as you think. :)
Hmm, wow that's smart, why didn't I think of that. Thanks for the tip! :D And yes, I do try to sing, I think I sing horribly but I love it and when I do it, I try to make my voice clear, controlled, I try to sing from the diaphragm etc. tips I've heard here and there. Great advice everyone thanks ^^
 
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