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  1. #1
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Default Public Speaking Tips for the Soft Spoken Introvert

    In public speaking situations, I find it rather difficult to raise my voice loud enough without my voice sounding like it's in a cramped box, monotone (but I am fully aware that I sound monotone, and I get slightly embarrassed because I sound boring! LOL), and a part of me is holding myself back. I'm usually soft spoken, but project my voice really loud when I am angry. To add things up, I am almost too aware with how I am acting in front of an audience, and that ends up making me feel even more self-conscious ("God, I'm moving around awkwardly!") This ends up causing me to become less outspoken. Sometimes when I am dealing with a noisy audience that I want to quiet down, I have a hard time talking over them, and I feel like I am nearly shouting over them (but they still can't hear me because from their point of view, I'm too soft to hear!) I was wondering if any of you have some public speaking tips for the soft spoken introvert. What I aim for is to project more without straining my voice.

    If only I was an ENTJ 8w9 sx type, things would be so much better! LOL
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  2. #2
    Senior Member Greta's Avatar
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    First things first: disabuse yourself of the idea that the inability to articulate yourself at adequate volume comes down to not being ENTJ. It's ridiculous and self-defeating.
    Peel off the napkin
    O my enemy.
    Do I terrify?

  3. #3
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I have a soft voice aswell, and I have a hard time projecting my voice with out sounding like I'm angry. which if the speech is about kittens and why they're awesome. sounding angry is not the best way to go. I also talk fast when I speak publicly. As a kid I'd speak softly, mumble, and speak very very fast it took me years to learn how to slow down and ennuciate. I still have a soft voice. apparently I sound like a nice person, someone you can trust. Funny how my natural voice gives that feeling to people.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  4. #4
    Senior Member ScorpioINTP's Avatar
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    ehhh I feel for you. I avoid public speaking like the plague. I suffer some of the same problems, but luckily I haven't had to do any for years.
    Type 6w5 sp/so/sx I think..I have not fully explored this and just discovered it.

  5. #5
    morose bourgeoisie
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    You can overcome this! Really. You have to try, over and over, but it will get easier.

  6. #6
    Senior Member chachamaru's Avatar
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    Alcohol is the cure.
    a cat is fine too

  7. #7
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greta View Post
    First things first: disabuse yourself of the idea that the inability to articulate yourself at adequate volume comes down to not being ENTJ. It's ridiculous and self-defeating.
    True. It doesn't make much sense that not being ENTJ would be the cause of the problem. But I was saying that line in a self-deprecating humor.

    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    I have a soft voice aswell, and I have a hard time projecting my voice with out sounding like I'm angry. which if the speech is about kittens and why they're awesome. sounding angry is not the best way to go. I also talk fast when I speak publicly. As a kid I'd speak softly, mumble, and speak very very fast it took me years to learn how to slow down and ennuciate. I still have a soft voice. apparently I sound like a nice person, someone you can trust. Funny how my natural voice gives that feeling to people.
    Yeah, being soft spoken can definitely soothe other people and calm their nerves down. Perhaps in order to captivate an audiences attention, given the fact I am soft spoken, the laser pointer stare might work.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioINTP View Post
    ehhh I feel for you. I avoid public speaking like the plague. I suffer some of the same problems, but luckily I haven't had to do any for years.
    Given the profession I'm going into, I have to do it all the time. I don't mind speaking to people, just I'm not that great at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    You can overcome this! Really. You have to try, over and over, but it will get easier.
    Yeah, I think with more experience and more practice, it will come a lot more natural to me. I'm still kind of new to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chachamaru View Post
    Alcohol is the cure.
    I see... initiate fake Se. :P
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  8. #8
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    so i just learned this recently - understanding how your diaphragm works helps you have the capacity of air and force to project your voice steadily.

    Quote Originally Posted by singwise.com
    The diaphragm - a shelf of muscle and tendon that extends across the bottom of the ribcage – responds to various signals from the nervous system. When we inhale, the diaphragmatic muscles contract - they shorten and tighten - and the diaphragm moves downward in the body. As the diaphragm depresses, it creates a vacuum in the lungs and air rushes in to fill that vacuum. During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes and rises, and lung volume decreases, creating a positive pressure difference, and air rushes out. The air expelled from the lungs rises up through the trachea (wind pipe) and filters out through either the nose or the mouth. (When air meets resistance at the laryngeal level – that is, when the vocal folds are approximated – sound, or voice, is produced.)


    essentially you want to breathe in a way that "fills your belly" (not your chest), pulling your diaphragm down and allowing your lungs to fill fully. (trivia - when we try to breathe in a way that fills our chests, it actually forces our diaphragm to stay up and doesn't allow us to expand our lungs!)

    to practice it, stand up tall - feeling like the top of your head and bottoms of your feet are pressing to the sky and ground - and then drop your shoulders, relax your arms, lower your chin, and shake your hips (will get you into good alignment). once you've done that, place a hand on your lower side belly, right near your thigh. you want to "fill" your hand when you breathe, and then "empty" your abdomen when you breathe out. as you breathe out, you'll feel the sides of your abdomen - your external obliques - tense, and your control over those muscles will allow you to exhale in a controlled manner.

    once you've gotten a hang of it, practice enunciating sentences as you exhale. it should help you get steady sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling
    Perhaps in order to captivate an audiences attention, given the fact I am soft spoken, the laser pointer stare might work.
    yes!! stare at the talkers.

    i also think soft voices are lovely in general. you can remain soft in tone even if you are louder when projecting.

    i love your avatar btw CF.

  9. #9
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Just make sure you are talking about something you are knowledgable of and that you love talking about and wit time you'll become great. I used to be shy and nervous too, but I grew to love it and now I wish I could do it more!

  10. #10
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Some miscellaneous advice:

    1. Practice. Practice in real situations; practice for friends; practice by yourself. Watch yourself in a mirror. Record yourself and watch that.

    2. Pick up practical tips from experienced speakers. Things like: hold something in your hand if you fidget; avoid vocalized pauses; pretend you are speaking to the people in the last row of the audience (encourages projection vs. yelling); and first and foremost, be secure in your content, because that will help you be confident and relaxed.

    3. Do some singing. If you can, join a choir (church, school, community, etc.) where you can get some direction/training. This will help you become more comfortable with your own voice, its capabilities, and how to use it to best effect.

    Good luck! (Though a definite I, I do a fair amount of speaking to groups and have learned not only to be good at it, but to enjoy it as well.)

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