How to stop speaking so loudly

Talking loudly is the most annoying habit in the office. How can you prevent it?

How to stop speaking so loudly

My youngest daughter has no internal volume switch. Just like her late grandfather, she has only one setting: Spinal Tap “Up to 11” loud.

So I guess it’s no surprise that so many people should suffer from the same problem in the workplace. But can it be fixed?

Hearing you loud and clear.

Look, I get it. Everybody wants to be heard. So it makes sense that if you want to gain an advantage in a conversation or merely grab someone’s attention, speaking louder might seem like a reasonable solution.

The sad truth is that it’s often just a source of irritation for the listener. Whenever I’m on the receiving end of a high-decibel assault on my eardrums, the only thing I can think about is duct tape.​

It seems I’m not alone in this viewpoint.

A 2016 Harris Interactive and Randstad study of the most infuriating habits in the workplace surveyed 2,318 workers and found the “loud talker” was despised by almost a third of respondents. Interestingly, the pet peeves in both second and third place were also audibly related, with “annoying cellphone ringtones” bugging 30 percent of people and “use of speaker phones another 22 percent.

Dealing with the problem.

“Loud and talkative co-workers can be one of the most annoying distractions on earth — and unfortunately, they’re pretty common in today’s workplace”

So how do you deal with the problem diplomatically? It can be difficult to find something tactful to say. Michael Kerr, author of You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work, suggests using something non-confrontational such as:

“Hey, I need your advice on something. I know it can be challenging working in such close quarters. Is there anything I can do to improve your work experience, being that we work so close by each other? Do I tap my pen or slam my cabinet? You never know until you ask!”

Hmm. That all sounds fine in principle, but it relies on the subject being able to decipher your rather unsubtle critique, and then offer the proverbial olive branch of suggesting that they themselves could dial down their dulcet tones by way of a compromise. I still think that the duct tape solution is more viable.

OK, maybe that’s a little extreme. What about a set of noise cancelling headphones instead?

Five ways to tone it down.

And what if you are one of the loud talkers yourself? If you have a high level of self-awareness and can recognize that you have a problem, what methods can you adopt to try and converse at a more convivial level? Here are five tips to try to tone it down:​

  1. Practice listening more than speaking. You have two ears and one mouth, so try to use them in that ratio.
  2. Control your environment. Excessive background noise will inevitably make you speak louder, so try to eliminate extraneous sounds.
  3. Stay positive when speaking negatively. Often people raise their voice when there is a difference of opinion. Stay calm and deliver your point of view without deviating from your normal voice.
  4. Train your voice. Speak from your diaphragm. It will help you maintain the same volume.
  5. Get your hearing tested. It may be you speak louder because of some impairment in your hearing, so get it checked.

What do you think? Are you irked by the Chatty Cathy or Effusive Eric in the office? If so, beyond duct tape and/or headphones, what do you recommend to get them to turn it down?

And if you are a loud talker yourself, do you even think there is a problem? There’s nothing wrong with shouting it out. As ever, I’m keen to hear your point of view.

There are already a few questions and answers from the perspective of workers who deal with loud colleagues: Loud and unprofessional employee and What can I do about a very loud coworker?

As someone who is aware that they often speak loudly how can I deal with/overcome this issue?

I already make efforts to be aware of my volume but frequently only notice my volume at the end of a conversation. It’s particularly difficult for me to control when explaining my work to new hires who I am essentially training, mainly because I am proud of my work and enjoy discussing the technical aspects of it. Other than trying my best to be more conscious of the issue I’m not sure what else to do. Things I’ve tried:

  • I have asked the people I speak with to let me know if they notice me talking loudly but I would prefer that my problems dont require effort from others to overcome.
  • I have also had my hearing checked and that is not the issue.
  • If I know that I will be having a potentially loud conversation I try to take it to our kitchen/plaza area but that isnt always an option as we need to be sitting at a PC.

Occasionally a select few individuals will make comments like, “God why do you talk so loud?”. Although they are the kind of person to bug you as a sign of affection and comfortability it leaves me feeling very bad about myself because I am not the kind of person to knowingly annoy others.

I’d like to solve this problem before someone feels inspired to create a SE question about dealing with me.

My five-year-old daughter Maggie seems to have two volume levels outside of our home: “off” and Fran Drescher at a loud bar . It took a while for her to become comfortable talking to people at all, so I’ve been letting it go when she suddenly has something important to say and starts speaking in ALL CAPS. But at a recent parent meeting at her preschool, the director began introducing everyone to each other. When she got to me, she announced, “This is Michelle, mom to Maggie. I know you have all heard Maggie.” Oy. Maybe we do need to work on volume control.

The topic of what to do when your kid sounds like they’re shouting came up in the Offspring Facebook group . I found some tips on how to help the child—and everyone within earshot.

Get Their Hearing Checked

If your child always seems to be yelling, it’s possible that he has a hearing problem. An ear infection may also be the case—it’s the most common ailment in young children. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

Look for Other Reasons They Might Be Speaking Loudly

Little kids often use loud voices to talk over others and demand attention. Maggie does this at times, and I have to keep reminding her it’s not okay. Teach them to let others finish what they want to say before jumping in. (I realize this can be tough, even for adults.) Or if they’re just looking for your attention, you can try a trick to stop them from interrupting your conversations, one that some parents swear by. Tell them that if they want to talk to you, they need to put their hand on your wrist and wait. And then you put your hand over their hand to acknowledge their request. Whenever you’re don’t talking, you turn to your kid and give them your full attention.

How to stop speaking so loudly

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Talk to Your Kid in ‘Parallel Position’

There’s a multitude of books and articles on how to talk to your child. Most offer good advice:…

Kids may also yell because that is how you have gotten their attention in the past. Try to stop that cycle—it’s not a great one . And then model a speaking voice that’s calm, respectful, and at an appropriate volume.

Or maybe your kid speaks loudly because they’re little and just don’t yet understand society’s standard decibel range for conversation. That makes sense, too. Luckily, there are ways to teach them.

Play the Indoor Voice vs. Outdoor Voice Game

In her new book Voice Lessons for Parents: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Listen , Wendy Mogel shares an exercise that can teach kids what adults consider to be an inside voice compared to an outside voice:

Starting with the softest possible whisper, say ‘I love big red balloons.’ OK, now a little louder . ” Continue until you hit the “outside voice” level, and call that Level 7. Then go past it until you’re both screaming and laughing. Label that Level 10. Then say, “Inside you always want to aim for four or five. That goes for when you’re inside a car, too, because any extra big noise can distract the person who’s driving. Outside, if you talk louder than a level seven, even if you’re in our backyard or on the playground, if there are adults nearby, someone’s going to tell you to be quiet or a stranger might worry you’re having a problem.”

Ignore Loudness

If your kid is yelling like a World Cup announcer at 6 am, and you believe they know it’s out of line, snapping back with “you’re too loud!” or “shhhhhhhhh!” will only give them a thrill. Even negative attention is attention , which is what kids are often looking for. If the loudness is persistent, ignoring it might be your best option. Walk away. Don’t respond. Put on headphones if you need to. When they’re ready to speak to you at an acceptable volume, then you can re-engage.

Oh, and if anyone tries to give your kid one of those toy microphones for their birthday, break it “on accident” immediately.

How to stop speaking so loudly

Hi friend, you have been attending or attended speech sessions to learn how to speak fluently (without stuttering / stammering, or ‘getting stuck’, or ‘getting bumpy words’).

Just like learning new skills such as swimming or playing piano, learning these new ways of speaking takes lots of practice so that you can actually do it. (It’s not much good just saying “I know I have to move my arms.” – you have to actually get in the water and swim!)

To swim well, or cycle well, or play piano well, you need even more practice so that it becomes ‘automatic’. This means you don’t have to think about where each finger or foot is, and you can do it quickly.

Do you feel frustrated, upset, or embarrassed when you stutter?

If you want to be able to talk to your friends, family and teachers easily and fluently without stuttering, you will need lots of practice too.

Do you know how fast you have to move your vocal cords, tongue and lips when you talk? Most people say more than 150 sounds per minute!

You won’t have much time to think, you really need to make your new fluent speech skills automatic!

Here are some friendly reminders on how to stop stuttering and fluent speech skills you have learnt from your speech therapist:

General Reminders

  1. Don’t rush to speak. It’s difficult to do anything well when you rush.
  2. Breathe naturally and easily so that you don’t run out of air when you talk. Sometimes people try to help and suggest you ‘take a deep breath’ – don’t overdo it!

If you find yourself stuttering, or about to stutter, remember:

  1. Start your voice ‘gently’.
  2. Think ‘slow motion’ – slow down how you move your lips or tongue.
  3. Is it a long word? Remember to emphasize one particular syllable, or ‘add a bounce’ to the word so that it is easier to say.
    People such as singers or football players have ‘warm up’ exercises they do regularly. Here are some suggestions for ‘speech warm up’.

Speech Warm Up Exercises

  1. Say your ‘long vowel’ sounds a few times slowly and gently for about 1 minute.
  2. Read a favourite story or poem aloud. Breathe naturally and easily. Start each sentence, or line, with your gentle sounds. Keep your voice going for the sentence or line (don’t strain yourself!). Read for about 5 minutes.
  3. Listen to yourself as you do the above exercises. That’s how you’ll like to speak to your teacher, family and friends: fluently, easily and confidently.

People around you can help you. If you notice any words or situations you always have difficulties, tell your parents, friends, spouse or your speech therapist so that they can help you.

Be Creative and Have Fun…
That’s How Speech Practice Gets Done!

Our Contributor

The author, Ms Magan Chen brings with her more than 30 years of speech and language therapy experience in both private hospital and enrichment centre settings. This gives us exceptional understanding of our clients’ medical and/or school needs.

She has helped more than 1500 individuals to overcome their communication or learning difficulties.

Ms. Magan Chen trained in London, U.K. (M.Sc. Human Communication) and Sydney, Australia (B. App. Sc. in Speech Pathology).

Magan is a registered Certified Practising Speech Language Pathologist (CPSP) with the Speech Pathology Australia.

She is also the founding President and a registered member of Speech-Language and Hearing Association Singapore (SHAS, the professional body representing Speech Language Therapists in Singapore.

Magan has been interviewed and featured in various newspapers and magazines such as Young Parents Magazine, The Straits Times & The New Paper.

Together with Magan, our team of competent and caring speech language therapists and teachers help hundreds of individuals improve their ability to communicate and have more say in life.

If you would like to see a highly experienced speech language therapist / pathologist for an initial consultation, please call us at (65) 6386-7532.

It’s more complicated than you may think to speak clearly in all situations. So don’t be hard on yourself if you’re not communicating well all the time.

Have you ever felt like you talk too fast or use too high of a pitch? Or maybe you use too many words , and you end up getting the glaze over, or your spouse just gets annoyed with you? Or how about all those filler words when you were suggesting your ideas in the meeting? Where did they come from?!

Do you ever draw a blank when you’re speaking? Or feel like you’re not persuasive enough? How about when you’re on a first date, and you can’t think of a thing to say ? Forget about it if you have to deliver bad news !

These are all completely normal feelings and experiences. It’s just that people don’t talk about them with their friends & colleagues. Perhaps they feel embarrassed. I think it’s time to start the conversation.

Why is speaking clearly so challenging?

We’ve got a boatload of different environs we need to speak in: we need to talk in meetings to our team or our boss or clients. We go on job interviews, and we have to deliver presentations.

We have to introduce ourselves and try to make a great first impression . We’re required to make small talk before meetings and when being acquainted with someone for the first time. These are all challenging speaking situations, and none of it is taught in school!

How to stop speaking so loudly

We need to sound confident and be influential. We want people to find us credible and follow our call to action. This is the way we end up with great relationships and successful careers. Speaking clearly is the only way to get there.

And, of course, our bodies go into fight or flight when we’re in high-stakes situations. How many of us are not putting ourselves in high-stakes situations? After all, we’re merely striving to get ahead!

Scroll down for the 7 steps.

Speaking loud & clearly.

You’re going to want me to tell you that you have to enunciate all of your letters in English. You’re going to want me to tell you how to move and shape your mouth.

Those things aren’t as important as having a full resonant speaking pattern. People who are overly concerned about diction are not going to speak clearly. They are going to end up sounding staccato and the American brain doesn’t process staccato.

A crisp clear speaking voice and powerful executive presence are essential to being a crystal clear speaker.

Influential people are clear speakers. They’ve studied and put to practice the art of being persuasive and they know how to answer difficult questions when they get hit with them.

English isn’t a sound-to-symbol language.

That’s why it’s so hard for non-native people to pronounce. That’s essentially why people have accents.

If you speak Spanish you’ll see that one letter represents one sound. And each sound is only represented by one letter.

But English is a completely different ballgame. The letter “a” can represent different sounds. The word “alphabet” has 2 “a”s and each presents different sounds. And “father”s “a” is a different sound altogether!

There’s not one sound in English that is only represented by one letter. And there’s not one letter in English that represents only one sound.

So when people want you to pronounce every “t” like the “t” at the beginning of a word, that sound will be incorrect in the middle or end of a word. Look at the “table”, “butter” and “fought.”

How to stop speaking so loudly

Communicating is a complex process.

Now think about how complex communicating is in the easiest of situations. You have to translate your thoughts into words , use correct grammar, intonation, and breathing. And you have to speak concisely !

Add to that: emotions and a desire for a successful outcome, and it’s a wonder we can speak at all!

With a bit of practice, you can speak clearly in the highest-stakes situations.

If you’re serious about learning to speak clearly, I recommend you set up a consult with me to talk about individual sessions or, if you’re more the do-it-yourselfer, take The Voice Spa . It’s a video class that takes you through every step you need to become relaxed, confident, crystal clear, and persuasive.

But don’t stop reading the blog because there’s tons of valuable information on these pages, plus the articles will help inspire you to keep going.

I recommend setting aside 8-15 minutes per day to follow along with this article and its links. It’s meant to be a compilation of all the techniques you need to be crystal clear.

Speaking clearly in meetings.

Many folks report that they have great ideas to share, but they just don’t speak up in meetings . That’s perfectly normal, and there are remedies.

And you’ll want to be able to sound authoritative without sounding aggressive. You can do that by adding warmth to your style and making sure you don’t use upspeak .

You can also add some panache by upping your verbal brand.

Which sentences are the correct to ask someone to speak using a lower voice or a louder voice?

Can you please speak lower?

Can you please speak louder ?

Can you please low your voice?

Can you please loud your voice ?

How to stop speaking so loudly

How to stop speaking so loudly

2 Answers 2

Maryam’s comment pretty much covers it, although I’ll add a few more examples:

Can you speak louder?
Can you raise your voice?
Can you speak up?
Can you speak more loudly?

Can you speak softer?
Can you lower your voice?
Can you speak more quietly?

Feel free to add “please”, and/or “Could you . ” to make it more polite. You can also say “Would you . ” to make it more of a demand:

Would you please lower your voice in the library? Thank you.

Note: I don’t know why you can say, “Could you speak up?” but you can’t say, “Could you speak down?” It’s just one of those strange English quirks.

In Voice by Thila Raja 24/05/2017 6 Comments

How do you speak loudly ?

Speaking loudly is more than just raising your voice so that you can be heard. Raising your voice would naturally cause you to tense up, and hence tense your posture, breathing and so on. End result, your voice gets heard, but it gets a workout too, which leaves you fatigued, especially after a day of talking loudly using the incorrect techniques. And if used incorrectly long enough, then it damages the vocal cords, and you end up with a sore, hoarse voice.

The best way to go about projecting your volume in way, so that you can be heard, effortlessly, is the way to go.

Here are 5 steps on to project your voice safely:

1) Breathing

I cannot emphasise enough about how important breathing is, especially for projecting your volume. We can breathe in many different ways, and all of them influence our speech.
If you have fair bit of anxiety about talking , I would highly suggest you do this, as a starting point.
4:7:8 breathing, using your diaphragm. I would suggest sitting in a quiet spot, with both feet touching the ground.
Inhale through your nose for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 7 counts.
Exhale through your mouth ( silently) for 8 counts.
If the counts are too long, reduce the counts until you are able to extend them. Do this exercise for 5 repeat at least.
This sets you up to breathe using your diaphragm when you are speaking, so you can project from your diaphragm, rather than your chest.

2) Warm up & Enunciate
We often forget that speaking loudly also means you have to articulate clearly. No one can hear you if your mouth is not open enough, or if you mumble your words through.
Great way to think is considering your mouth as an open chamber, where the lips, tongue and jaw are working in union to produce the nice resonant sound that you want to create.

3) Good Posture
Maintain a good posture. Keep your shoulders neutral and your head centered. Do not hunch up your shoulders. Keep the chin in a neutral position, without tucking it in or jutting it out. Ensure you are able to breathe easily and freely in whichever stance you take.

4) Twang it!
This is the most important part of practice. Raising your voice is more than just talking loudly. It is a specific technique. Spectrographically, the energy that you project for Twangs is around 2500- 3500 Hz, the resonant frequency to which the ear is most sensitive to.
Twangs will always sound bright and clear, and you do not have to force it out. We aim for clear twang, which is different to nasal twang.

5) Position yourself
Ensure that you are able to maintain eye contact with everyone in the room, where the eyes travel, the energy in the voice follows. When you look all around the room and make a connection to the very back of the room, you will be surprised how loud your voice actually sounds!

Speaking loudly is nothing less than being impolite. Do you agree? Read on to find out the general notions around speaking loudly.

  • How to stop speaking so loudly

How to stop speaking so loudly

Speaking loudly is nothing less than being impolite. Do you agree? Read on to find out why it has nothing to do with confidence.

“My shower broke, but I know how to fix it! I am sitting at a car dealership and getting my car fixed. Oh! wait, do you want to know how I know to fix my shower? I watched a dozen youtube videos while my car is getting repaired. Hey, I want to speak to you about XYZ problem of mine, are you available today afternoon? Let’s go to the new Starbucks that opened in that XY building, at this & this road! Ok, Sweetie, thanks so much sunshine, I am so glad you can help me fix my problem. Awww…don’t worry about the shower, I will fix it. Ok, Honey, see you at Starbucks, at 5pm at XY street. Love you, B-Bye!”

Readers, this is not a piece of fiction. This is real but it wasn’t my shower that broke and it wasn’t me who called my friend ‘Sunshine’! I heard (please note, not overheard), this conversation as I too sat waiting for my car to be serviced. There was this lady who called her friend and yes, she was this loud; way too loud a conversation to hold in public. I looked at her, and I knew what I was doing next! Yes, I am writing this post, and asking why?

Why! Why don’t people understand? Why don’t people have ‘common’ sense as to how to talk in a public place? Why do they think it is cool to talk loudly and openly when a dozen others can listen to their talk? Why don’t such people understand that other people are bothered by their loud information they have no business with!

Common myths around speaking loudly in public

Some of the myths about speaking loudly include:

  • It shows a confident personality: People who speak loudly assume that if they are able to carry this feat off, they are super confident. They are extroverts, carefree, unafraid, have a public personality and are dauntless.
  • People don’t care about the volume: Such people are unaware or don’t care about the fact that the people around them get affected by the ‘noise’ they are making. Volume matters. Period!
  • Just my personality: This is a ridiculous as well as annoying excuse for speaking loudly in public. No matter how extroverted your personality is, keep it to a low profile when the display is not needed.

Real facts about people who speak loudly in public

  • Anxiety: People who speak loudly can be anxious people. They may have anxiety when speaking in public and their defense is speaking loud (often unknowingly)
  • Family culture: Many cultures and families have loud mouth habits. This is just a natural part of their lives which isn’t noticed. Hence, no offense is offered while speaking loudly in public too.
  • Control-freaks: Many people speak loud especially in public places, talking over phones or the person next to them, in order to exercise control. Often, to show authority, people become loud talkers, and this becomes a habit, if done on a regular basis.
  • Just plain ‘impolite’: This is the most common reason! Most of all, such people who are just plain impolite, and have no concern about their surroundings.

From loud speaking to speaking softly

The first step towards not speaking loudly in public is to be aware that you tend to do so. Know for yourself that you might be loud even when you whisper. These are measures, which if sincerely followed, can help you speak softly:

  • Find out ‘how loud’: Try to listen to yourself speak. Ask a friend or a person you can open up with, to record you when you are unaware. Listen to the recording and find out how loud you speak, and what others felt about it.
  • Make a ‘quiet day’ plan: Starting with a single day, try to reduce the volume when you speak. Remember, be quiet before you open your mouth.
  • Make a ‘talk less day’ plan: Often when we have a lot to share, we speak fast and loud. How about a day when we speak less!
  • Take progress reports: Share your plans with friends/family and ask for a regular report card. It is important to know what measure works or excels for you. Any measure you take is not just once, it has to be repeated at regular intervals. If still nothing, get your ears checked. Sometimes audio-sensory problems make us speak louder than we think.

Before you head on to evaluate yourself or others, whether you or they tend to speak loudly in public or not, enjoy this phone call crashing video! Think about it every time you are in public, on phone or talking face-to-face!

How to stop speaking so loudly

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How to stop speaking so loudly

Introduction: How to Deal With Noisy Neighbors

My next door neighbors have recently been playing their music really loud so that I can hear it through the walls. I’ve gotten tired of having to bang on the walls each time to get them to quiet down, so I decided to automate some payback. The premise is that my device will listen for loud music playing through the wall, and when the volume breaks a pre-defined threshold and hears sustained music for 10 seconds it will start playing a CD player with annoying music and blast it back at them. After playing for a certain period of time it will pause the music and go back into monitoring mode. If the neighbors are still loud it will blast the music again and again indefinitely.

Watch the video to see the device in action!

Step 1: Supplies

I used the following items for this device:

1 Breadboard
1 Arduino Uno
1 5v power source to power the Arduino (I powered it through USB from my laptop)
1 Electret microphone
1 Green 10 LED bar graph (individual LEDs will work too)
1 Red 10 LED bar graph (individual LEDs will work too)
1 Orange LED (or any other color)
1 NPN Transistor 2N3904 or similar
2 0.1uF capacitor
1 100k ohm resistor
2 10k ohm resistor
13 220 ohm resistor (Or whatever will run your LEDs at 5v)
1 CD player
2 Big ol’ speakers
Connector wire

I ran out of outputs with the Arduino Uno so my volume meter only uses 2 of the red bars. An Arduino Mega would provide more outputs and make a better volume meter.

Step 2: Setting Up the Circuit

I fed the electret microphone signal through a simple preamp circuit that I found online, then into an analog input on the Arduino. The LEDs are driven directly by the Arduino outputs. To control the music I tapped an output into the play/pause button on my CD player. With my particular CD player the signal needed to be held high at 5V and dropping it down to ground activated the button.

You can download the Fritzing file of the circuit I set up.

Attachments

Step 3: Programming the Arduino

You can download the attached sketch and load it onto your Arduino. The program will automatically run on powerup.

Some important notes about the code:

Line 7
const int threshold = 320;
This sets the threshold for triggering the playback. It should be low enough so that the neighbor’s music makes our graph go into the red, but high enough so ambient noise won’t set it off (like a loud car outside). Play around with this value to set it just right.

Line 9
2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13>;
These are all of the outputs that make up the LED bar graph. If you use more than I did, you will need to add the extra ports here.

Line 14
const long waitTime = 10000.0;
This is the 10 second wait period to avoid false alarms. You can change this as needed (the value is in milliseconds).

Line 15
const long cancelTime = 4000.0;
This is what defines “continuous” music during the waiting period. If the music stays below the threshold for 4 seconds then it cancels the waiting period and goes back to monitoring. You can change this as needed (the value is in milliseconds).

Line 16
const long playTime = 30000.0;
This is how long the annoying music will be played. It is set for 30 seconds but you can change this as needed (the value is in milliseconds).

Line 37
digitalWrite(playPin, HIGH);
This is the CD player control output. With my CD player the play/pause button needed a constant 5V and dropping it to ground would trigger the button. So here I am setting the pin high initially. If your CD player signal needs to be normally low, you can just delete this line.

Line 46
ledLevel = map(sensorReading, 200, threshold, 0, ledCount);
The 200 here eliminates ambient noise. When it was 0 the first couple LED bars would stay on constantly.

Line 83-85 and 91-93
digitalWrite(playPin, LOW);
delay(200);
digitalWrite(playPin, HIGH);
Again, this is for m y CD player which needed a normally high signal. If your CD player signal needs to be normally low, you need to swap the LOW and HIGH.

Attachments

Step 4: Installing the Device

Once the circuit is all wired up and the Arduino is programmed, you are pretty much ready to go. I used masking tape to attach the microphone to the wall facing the neighbors. Make sure the CD player is on so that pressing the play button once will start the music.

That’s pretty much it! You can leave the system on while you are at home (although your own noise might trigger it), or set it and forget it when you leave.

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How to slow your speaking rate to sound more composed.

Do you talk too fast? In our fast-paced, hectic, and often stressful society, many people tend to have this communication problem. While speaking quickly is not necessarily an issue in and of itself, some people do so at the expense of clarity, diction, and coherency, which may seriously inhibit effective communication.

How to stop speaking so loudly

Below are four common reasons why a person may speak too fast:

1. Some people talk fast because they’re thinking “a mile a minute” and are trying to keep up with their own thoughts. This is particularly true with many extroverts, who tend to “think as they speak” rather than “think before they speak.”

2. Some individuals speak quickly out of nervousness and anxiety—they increase their rate in order to get their communication “over with,” but at the expense of clarity and diction, resulting in mumbling or jumbled speech. This particular phenomenon may apply to introverts as well as extroverts.

3. Certain people naturally speak fast because they were socially conditioned to do so from a young age. For example, a child with rambunctious and highly vocal siblings may feel constant pressure to “speak quickly and speak right away” in order to get a word in and receive attention.

4. For those who speak English as a second or third language, if the rate of their native tongue is inherently faster than English, they may inadvertently speak English at the rate of their birth language, resulting in fast English articulation.

Regardless of the reason(s), many people who speak quickly may also be communicating ineffectively. Speaking fast without taking time to slow down or pause when appropriate may have the following, undesirable effects:

  • Higher vocal pitch with less strength and power
  • Lower clarity and articulation
  • More “umm…s” and “ahh. s” (fillers)
  • Reduced comprehension by the listener
  • Reduced communication impact on the listener
  • Important points in the message may be lost or de-emphasized.
  • The speaker may seem less poised and less grounded, lacking gravitas.
  • The speaker may be perceived as having lower credibility.

How can you slow your speaking rate and sound more composed? Below are four helpful tips, with references from my books: How to Improve the Sound of Your Speaking Voice and Ten Tips for Presentation Confidence and Reducing Nervousness:

1. Monitor your own speaking rate. When you notice yourself speaking “a mile a minute,” simply pause or slow down. Say to yourself or to the listener: “I’m speaking too fast. Let me slow down.”

2. Ask for reminders. If you know speaking fast is a habit of yours, it’s perfectly okay to let people around you know so, and give them permission to tell you when you’re speaking too quickly. Say something to the effect of: “I am a fast talker. Feel free to let me know, and I’ll slow down.”

3. Use bottled water as a prop. A simple “trick” to help get around speaking too fast is to have a bottled water next to you as you speak and drink from it regularly to create natural pauses. This works in social conversations, professional meetings, as well as public speaking situations.

4. Build pauses into formal communication. If you’re delivering a stand-up presentation or speaking at a group meeting, create cues on presentation slides or in meeting notes to remind yourself to pause. One easy way to do so is simply to stop between key points and ask the listeners if they have any questions.

For more tips on how to improve voice, speech, and communication, see references below.

Mumbling is when you don’t speak clearly or loud enough, so that it’s difficult for whoever you are speaking to, to hear your words. It’s a common issue that can make you appear less confident and authoritative, or cause communication issues at work. No one wants this, so here are 5 exercises to help you stop mumbling, and articulate clearly.

When a person mumbles, it can seem as though they don’t want to be heard, that they are in some way apologising for speaking. Or worse, that they are ashamed of what they are saying. And we don’t want that!

Communicating is about sending your breath, your unique voice and your ideas into the world and letting them claim their rightful space. Don’t be hard on yourself if you mumble; it happens to all of us. Instead, decide here and now that when you speak, you’ll speak to be heard, and speak with confidence, because you believe in what you’re saying.

We have given tips before on how to speak so that people want to listen, but let’s first begin by looking at a few methods you can use right away to focus on speaking more clearly and avoiding mumbling.

1 – Train your mouth muscles

One tool to speak more clearly is to train your mouth muscles so that you enunciate better. It takes some practice, but this simple exercise will help your muscles get into gear and work a little harder for you. Put the knuckle of your thumb in your mouth and bite down gently. Then, using any reading material you have, read out loud and speak as clearly as you can. Do this for at least a minute a day and notice straight away after doing it how clear you sound.

Team this up with improving your vocal charisma and your speech will be much clearer and more engaging.

2 – The power of intention

Set your eyes on whatever is three metres in front of you right now. Whether it’s a wall, a chair or a tree, try and send your words crisply and clearly over to it. You can practice in your bedroom, and you’ll find that just by sending your intention a little further, you’ll crisp up those sounds in no time.

3 – Practice tongue twisters

A lot of mumbling is about not having enough muscular energy inside the mouth, which results in sloppy consonants. This exercise involves practising tongue twisters – focusing not on saying them quickly, but clearly. If you make the consonants pop, sizzle and snap, mumbling will soon be a thing of the past.

How to stop speaking so loudly

4 – Tongue warm-ups

Take time for a daily tongue warm-up. Your tongue is mainly muscle and is responsible for articulating the sounds you make. Therefore, if it’s lazy, it needs to do the tongue-equivalent of 20 press-ups!

  • Swish your tongue clockwise around your mouth in front of your teeth, five times one way and five times the other way.
  • Now push it against your finger and push back with your finger. This little battle will strengthen your tongue no end.

How to stop speaking so loudly

5 – Use a mantra to boost your confidence

Find a mantra for propelling your voice forward. It may be a single line, like “Because I deserve to be heard”. Whatever it is, use it to bolster your confidence when speaking and have it to hand in situations that make you mumble, and say it to yourself before you speak.

Pick and choose your exercises and say goodbye to the mumbles. Good luck and enjoy!

If you think your accent is muddling your speech and making it hard to be understood, take a look at our blogs on accent reduction or find out more about our Accent Softening Course .

Ready to take the next step? Book a Free Discovery Call to find out how we can tailor our communication courses to your specific needs.

If you found this blog useful, check out some of other favourites:

In today’s competitive business world, it’s not enough to be smart. You must be able to sway others to agree with you.

How to stop speaking so loudly

There are four kinds of speakers in the business world:

  1. The incoherent, who meander, use tons of jargon, and talk of things interesting mostly to themselves.
  2. The coherent, who can verbally communicate facts and opinions but seldom say anything memorable.
  3. The articulate, who speak succinctly and clearly but whose words are seldom persuasive.
  4. The eloquent, who use language and body language to win the hearts and minds of their listeners.

Eloquent people sound smart, regardless of how intelligent they are. The opposite is true as well. Smart people who are incoherent (like some engineers I’ve known) often come off as if they’re of limited intelligence.

Fortunately, eloquence is a skill that can be taught, practiced, and mastered. Here are nine easily mastered techniques to quickly make yourself more eloquent and smarter sounding.

1. Stand or sit with spine straight but relaxed.

Eloquence is more than just how you use language. It’s also how you use your body language. The position of your back is the foundation of your body language and therefore the root of your eloquence.

Slumping communicates a lack of confidence in yourself and your words. The other extreme, a ramrod straight back, says “fight or flight.” A straight but relaxed spine puts you in a mental and physical state from which words flow smoothly and easily.

2. Keep your chin up.

The position of your head is just as important as the position of your spine, a fact reflected in many common expressions. To “hold your head high,” for example, is to show pride and determination. To be “downcast” means you’re already beaten down.

An upright head is essential for eloquence for physiological reasons as well. A tense neck (inevitable if your head is facing down) tends to strangle your words, preventing you from speaking clearly.

3. Focus on your listeners.

Eloquence is meaningful only if people are listening to you, and they won’t listen if you’re thinking about something else or if your eyes are wandering all over the room. Eloquence without attention is mere speechifying.

Two special cases: Avoid glancing sideways; it makes you seem dishonest (shifty-eyed). If you must check your notes, use your eyes to look downward without nodding your head.

4. Speak loudly enough to be heard.

For maximum eloquence, speak loudly enough so people farthest from you can hear but not so loudly that it’s uncomfortable for those in front.

If you’re unsure of your volume, ask somebody in the back if they can hear you clearly. If they answer yes, say “How about this?” in a voice slightly less loud. If they answer no, crank your voice up a notch.

However, never raise your voice to a yell. Yelling makes you sound insane rather than eloquent. If you find yourself in that position, either ask for a microphone or request that people move closer.

5. Buttress words with appropriate gestures.

Use your hands to emphasize key points. The easy way to learn this skill is to watch how celebrities and popular public speakers use gestures as they speak. Note how their hand movements seem to “emerge” from their words.

If you’re not actively using a gesture, keep your hands still. Fiddling with your glasses, rattling your papers, scratching yourself, and so forth will distract the audience from your message and “cancel out” your eloquence.

6. Strategically position your body.

Add power to your words by moving your body appropriately. For example, if you’re speaking to a group from a stage, you might move from one spot to another to signal that you’re introducing a new idea.

Similarly, when sitting at the conference table, incline forward slightly when you want to emphasize a point. Reorient your sitting position when you move from one subject or concept to another.

7. Use vivid words that everyone understands.

Cliches (especially biz-blab) are the opposite of eloquence. Use unexpected but common words or phrases that illustrate points in a memorable manner. Example: “common as houseflies” rather than “dime a dozen.”

Also avoid words that your audience might not understand. Using fancy words makes you sound snobby, not smart. If you absolutely must introduce a term unfamiliar to the audience, define it in plain language.

8. Speak at different speeds.

Speaking at a single speed quickly turns whatever you’re saying into a monotonous drone. Instead, slow down and speed up depending upon the importance of what you’re communicating at the time.

If you’re summarizing or going over background, speak more quickly than when you’re providing new information. When you’re describing introducing an important concept, slow down to give listeners time to absorb it.

9. Use pauses to create emphasis.

Silence isn’t just golden; it’s also the crowning glory of eloquence. For example, a slight pause before you’re about to say something important create suspense. It leads your audience to “hang on your every word.”

Similarly, a pause after you’ve said something important emphasizes its importance and gives listeners a moment to reflect on its importance. A perfect example of the eloquence that comes with pausing is Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

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Kids may have difficulty remembering to control the volume of their voices. Especially when indoors in enclosed areas, loud children can reverberate off the walls and be unpleasant to hear. With firm and consistent reminders, you can help children remember to use quieter indoor voices. Although quiet voices may seem foreign to youngsters, they will quickly learn to adjust their volume to keep peace with adults.

Model the voice level you want to hear. When you want your child to lower the volume and keep his voice quieter, speak to him in a calm and low voice. Children pay close attention to how parents talk and interact with others, advises the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension 1.

How to Sleep When Ears are Plugged

Direct your child to speak at the level you want him to use a positive command instead of telling your child not to speak loudly. Children often respond more willingly when you give a direction requesting the desired behavior instead of correcting against an undesired behavior, according to Mary Elizabeth Hoffman, MA, with the Florida Department of Health. For example, you might say, “Please use your quiet voice inside the house. It hurts my ears when you shout.”

Take your child outside to give him an opportunity to make more noise if he’s acting energetic and rambunctious. Allow your child time to burn off steam, making outdoor-level noise. When you take him back indoors, he’ll likely be more successful at using a quiet voice.

How to Get Kids to Project Their Voices

Remind your child when he becomes excited that you want to hear a quieter voice. It’s common for children to become louder when they become excited.

Provide positive feedback when your child remembers to use a quiet voice. Praise can be an effective way to reinforce and encourage the behavior you want, states the New Mexico State University Family Times newsletter. You might say, “Wow, I can see how excited you are right now, but you are remembering your quiet voice. Great work!” Simple feedback like this can often be enough to motivate children to repeat behavior again to please you again.

It may help to ignore loud voices, too – especially if your child has a habit of using a loud voice, advises the University of Michigan Health System. By not giving the loud voice attention and pretending you don’t hear your child, he will learn not to speak so loudly. You might say, “I’m sorry. I’m having trouble hearing you when you yell. Try again with a quieter voice, please.”

Sometimes you are talking with your friends on skype or discord and you hear your own voice. It is normal to think that your headset is broken but most of the times it is just an error than can be easily fixed once you know the problem.

One of the most common things that happens all the time is that you hear yourself because you are talking with friends and they are listening through speakers and then the sound of their speakers get caught by the mic and as a result, you hear your own voice.

Hearing yourself can be caused by a number of reasons. To stop it try disabling other devices which may be interfering, simply go to the recording tab in hardware and devices from the control panel, in the same tab right-click the headset you are using go to properties, levels and uncheck microphone boost. Another thing that can happen is that you are talking with a person who uses speakers. If nothing works maybe you own headphones sending the signal back

Why do you hear your own voice through your headset

You can be hearing your voice as a result of different types of problems. I will cover all the possible problems that can cause this. These problems can be solved without much effort, but sometimes if you don’t know what is causing it, the search can be a little frustrating, but now you will be able to find the problem and fix it fast.

sound reflection

When you speak to the mic, all the sound of your voice will reflect on any surface and come back to the source of the sound, and you will be hearing the reflection of what you speak. Getting acoustic treatment is the only way to remove sound reflection but if you just want to stop hearing your voice, you just need noise-canceling headphones, this type of headphones will block any sound from the room and you will only hear the sound of what you are listening.

Wrong device

Sometimes another device is connected without you knowing about it. For example, if you are using a laptop you will probably have a built-in microphone, and if you plug an external microphone, both can be activated at the same time, which can create undesired effects like hearing yourself repeated. In order to fix this, go to the control panel, hardware and sounds and sound, then go to the Recording tab and right-click on the device you want to disable and click on disable, right-click again and click on properties, then go to levels, and if the option microphone boost is activated disable it because it can cause similar problems.

Someone else problem

One of the most common problems is hearing the sound of your voice in your headphones because you are hearing your voice from the speakers of another person you may be talking to. Simply ask if someone is using speakers, and if that is the case then tell them to turn down the volume and see if that solves your problem.

The headset

There are headphones that play back the voice they receive through the microphone. Usually, the signal is played back instantly but other times it can have some delay. This is easy to fix, just go to the microphone properties, go to listen and unmark “listen to this device”.

Other possibilities

Sometimes there is a real problem with headphones. You can try updating the drivers to be sure is not a software issue. If the problem persist then it can be a problem with the connections, clean all the ports and connections. You can try connecting the headset in other pc or laptop to test if it is a problem of the connections. In case the problem persists on all the devices you should send your headphones to customer services or buy new ones.

Other common problems with headsets

A lot of people when they have a problem with their headphones will call customer service or IT in the case of communications professionals, although in most cases there is no need to do that. This is a list of typical problems you can get with your headphones and how to solve them.

You hear only on one ear

This happens because the cable is not correctly plucked, most of the time half plugged so you just need to push it. Unplug the cable, see if the connector is damaged or broken, try to clean it with a cloth and plug it back.

In case you still hear sound only from one ear try to plug it in other devices, like your mobile to see if it’s an error of the computer or an error the headset.

You don’t hear any audio

If you don’t hear anything at all, then you may have connected the cable in the wrong place. Grey, black and orange are for speakers, pink for microphones, blue for DVD players and Green for headphones, the one that you want.

You may be using a Bluetooth headset and the battery has run out of power.

No sound on computer

If you see a cross on the speaker icon at the bottom-right of the screen, that means that the headphones are not being recognized by the computer. This is usually a driver problem, which means that the software the headphones require to work isn’t installed or updated. Usually headphones work with software already installed with the computer but some may have their own software.

Check for updates of your computer audio software, searching the model of your pc or laptop. I had a problem one time when a laptop didn’t output any sound, and it was because it required a specific version of the drivers because the last version had problems, this is very rare but it can happen, in that case search for your laptop or pc version and your problem and hopefully you will find someone with the same problem that found which version of the driver works.

Echo or delay during a call

When you hear an echo while calling someone and talking through a headset, it means that one of you have the volume too loud, it can be the person you talk to so you get back your voice like an echo or you have the volume of the speakers so loud the sound reflects in other parts of the room and you hear an echo as a result.

If you are not using speakers, then you hear the direct sound of your voice reflected in the walls of the rooms, and in that case, you would benefit from noise-canceling headphones or a room with better acoustics.

Bluetooth doesn’t connect

In case you have a wireless Bluetooth headset sometimes they have more than one switch labeled a/b/c or something similar. Find the switches and try until you are able to connect them.

Weak Wireless Connection

Also if you have a wireless or Bluetooth headset you need to make sure it is placed 30ft or less from wireless receiver, to get a better connection. Try not to place the receiver on a metallic surface as it can cause interference in the connection.

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Offices are plagued with annoyingly noisy coworkers who chew gum too loudly, use their outdoor voice for indoor conversations, and keep you distracted from getting your actual work done. It’s an epidemic that strikes nearly all of us — one study found that the lack of sound privacy was the biggest frustration for employees in open cubicles.

Even though these noises drive us crazy, we may choose to suffer in silence, because we know it can be socially inappropriate to start an office war over gum chewing. But there’s another way.

Alison Green’s new Ask a Manager podcast wants you to stop suffering in silence and address these noises distractions with grace and equanimity. Here’s how you can walk the fine line between telling your coworkers off and politely asking for them to lower their voice:

Make the request light and casual

Before you bring this up with the lip-smacking, gum-chewing offender, take some perspective on your request. Recognize that this may be a tricky conversation, but it should not be an aggressive or mean one. You are asking someone to change their behavior for you. Respect what you are asking of them, and do not make a big deal of the behavior itself. This is a request, not a battle.

When Green role plays an employee asking her coworker to lower their voice, she keeps her voice breezy. She even adds in a laugh to make her tone slightly self-deprecating when she says, “I know this is weird. The sound of gum being chewed is like nails on a blackboard to me. Is there any chance I can ask you to try to chew it more quietly?”

Green says that the laughingly casual tone shows that you are not taking the behavior too seriously, because gum chewing does not merit a serious tone. “It signals that you haven’t lost perspective. You realize that you might be being nitpicky. You could even make it all about yourself, sort of about your own neuroses,” she advises.

For some of us, being annoyed by gum-chewing is a part of our neuroses. Medically, it’s called misophonia, a selective sound sensitivity syndrome that triggers a fight-or-flight response to certain noises. For those who have it, the sound of gum-chewing fills them with rage. Even the sound of a banana being eaten can make them see red. Unfortunately, offices are filled with triggers like this.

If you are dealing with misophonia, you can use Green’s tips to keep yourself cool in your request even as your body is telling you to act out.

Do you get anxious when you have to speak publicly? It’s okay if you do, there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t even have to worry about being the only one because roughly three-quarters of the population share that same fear.

But it can be hard having that fear because it attacks your self-esteem. It’s also especially hard if you work somewhere that demands a lot of business presentations or if you’re a student who still needs to do class reports. The good news is, like any other fear, you can overcome it.

How To Overcome Presentation Fear

In this article, I’m going to show you how to overcome presentation fear and anxiety. In other words, you’ll learn how to get over fear of public speaking.

How to stop speaking so loudlyYou need to learn how to overcome your presentation fear

Tip #1: Identify The Root Of Your Fear And Work On It

Although many people share the fear of public speaking, it’s not exactly the same for everyone. Every person experiences the same fear differently.

It’s incredibly important that you know how it is for you because the first step to overcoming your fear of public speaking is knowing what exactly is making you anxious about public speaking.

This is the time to really look into yourself and ask what bothers you about public speaking. What’s making you anxious? Once you find the root of your fear, only then can you properly look for ways to overcome it.

Remember, identifying the problem is always the first step to finding the solution. Sure, you could’ve just searched for ways to overcome fear of public speaking or something like that.

Maybe you would’ve even found some useful tips and tricks, like breathing exercises and practicing your presentation like crazy.

But if you really want to overcome your fear, you have to understand that you have to work on it from the inside out. And the only way you could do that is if you knew what to work on in the first place.

Tip #2: Practice Some Healthy Coping Mechanisms

As I mentioned above, if you simply searched for ways to overcome fear of public speaking, you can still find some useful tips and tricks like breathing exercises.

These are helpful if you’re feeling anxious because of an upcoming presentation.

Deep, even breathing is one of the simplest ways to calm yourself down whenever you feel that you’re starting to panic.

You should also look into mindfulness. It’s a psychology term that means being more attuned to the present. Whenever we’re anxious or afraid, what we’re doing is imagining the worst case scenarios.

And I feel that whatever the root of your public speaking fear is, it manifests itself through your mind going into overdrive just thinking of all the bad things that could happen.

To stop yourself from getting anxious, you should try practicing mindfulness.

There are a lot of ways to be more mindful, like meditating or doing yoga or having a mantra among other things.

Any activity or practice or even thought that helps you bring yourself back to the present will do, as long as it works for you.

Tip #3: Practice Your Speech

A lot of people’s fear of public speaking actually stems from being afraid of messing up. Whenever you practice your presentation or speech, you give yourself the opportunity to review your piece.

You can see parts of your presentation that might be confusing to your audience, or parts of your presentation that you realize you don’t particularly know much about, etc.

You give yourself the chance to go over your weak spots and find ways to strengthen them before other people point it out.

Save yourself some stress by anticipating where you might mess up and taking precautionary measures so that you don’t.

Tip #4: Speak In Public

I know it sounds crazy. How could speaking in public help you overcome your fear of speaking in public? Have you ever heard of exposure therapy? It’s a behavioral practice that doctors use to help people get over their fears.

It’s based on the idea that avoiding what you’re afraid of to reduce feelings of fear is a short-term solution, and can actually end up harming you in the long run by making your fear worse.

So what they do is they gradually expose the individuals to the cause of their fear in a safe environment.

This helps the individuals affirm that there is no reason for their fear, and makes it easier for them to manage it.

This tip is essentially the same as exposure therapy. You’re afraid of speaking in public, so to overcome that, speak in public more often!

But the key for this to work is to expose yourself gradually and in a safe environment. Start out small. Present something or give a speech in front of people you trust, maybe your family or friends.

Once you become comfortable with that, gather a larger audience for your presentation. Let yourself face your fear at your own pace.

There’s no need to rush yourself because what you want to do is to gain positive experiences with public speaking.

Only move up a tier when you feel that you’re ready, so you don’t accidentally undo all the progress you’ve achieved.

Tip #5: Adopt A Healthy Mindset

You can’t be doing all these things to overcome your fear of public speaking but still carry on with a defeatist attitude.

You have to believe in yourself:

  • Believe that you’re going to make it, that you’re going to overcome your fear.
  • Believe that having the fear in the first place does not make you a failure.
  • Believe that how a presentation turns out – whether you did well or not – is not an indicator of your worth as a person.

If you’re having a hard time believing yourself, fake it till you make it! Just tell yourself that you believe in you even if it’s not yet true. Just wait and see. Eventually, you’ll come to believe in yourself.

Are You Ready To Overcome Your Presentation Fear?

There is nothing wrong with having a fear of public speaking. It’s a natural and understandable fear. But, as with any other fear, you can’t let it run your life. You have to take action to overcome it. It won’t be easy, and it might take some time, but the rewards of having overcome that fear will certainly be worth all the hard work you put into it.

Speak Your Mind: Is speaking loudly in public an individual’s right or a public nuisance?

How to stop speaking so loudly

Illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News archives

What you need to know:

  • Is speaking loudly in public an individual’s right or a public nuisance?

Whether it’s someone sharing their phone call with other passengers on a train or a couple having a very public fight, speaking loudly can gain people a number of glares and sighs. However, is being loud in public an individual’s right or a nuisance?

Impolite behaviour: Individuals should be courteous to others

How to stop speaking so loudly

Hashim Noor Image Credit: Supplied

Talking loudly in public spaces is a very common problem, and it causes inconvenience for many people. In my opinion, talking loudly in public is impolite and extremely unethical and people should avoid it as much as possible. However, at the end of the day it is an individual’s right to do so, and others should not judge them for it.

When you are in a public space you should not expect to have the kind of comfort that you have in your home. It’s impolite, sure! But it’s also an individual’s right to talk however they like as long as they are not breaking any laws. In addition to that, sometimes you are forced to speak loudly in a public space. For instance, due to bad cellular reception, or due to noisy surroundings. That being said, I believe it is every individual’s responsibility to be courteous to others, we should be mindful at all times to avoid causing discomfort to others, and at the same time we should be accommodating towards people as well and instead of reacting, try to compromise if we are being annoyed by someone.

– From Mr Hashim Noor, Computer programmer based in Dubai

Moral standards: How people display thyemselves in public speaks a lot

How to stop speaking so loudly

Mboma Kiese Image Credit: Supplied

When in a public setting, good etiquette and adequate moral conduct is fundamental. Respect, is a key concept that everyone should be familiar with. If everyone respects their surroundings, it would enable us all to live in harmony.

Whether it is purposely speaking out loud on the phone or talking clamourously amongst your peers and being oblivious to everyone’s moral sensitivity. I believe, it’s not only inconsiderate but quite rude.

The way one conducts themselves around other people in public reflects a lot on their morality and ethical standards.

By speaking out loud in public, you would not only disturb the peace, but manifest feelings of discomfort, tension and displeasure to some people or in more serious cases bring trouble upon yourself by violating the law.

Finally, such an inconsiderately arrogant act can leave your public image in a negative light, which could also affect your wellbeing and reputation as a person. Therefore, it is ideal for a person to act vacuously in the comforts of their own abode but contrary in public settings. The term ‘public’ space should not be taken carelessly.

– From Ms Arine Mboma Kiese, Business administration student based in Sharjah

Call for tolerance: People need to be considerate towards each other

How to stop speaking so loudly

Ms Raya Khalid Image Credit: Supplied

I think most of the time people talking loudly in public spaces is done unintentionally. People get carried away and excited and as a result, start speaking in a higher tone. It personally, doesn’t bother me very much and I disregard it as someone’s joy.

I’ve also observed more serious incidents like bickering between couples, parents and their children quarrelling or people get exceptionally heated on a phone call. Sometimes as humans, we get emotional and it’s exhibited in public. It’s sometimes simply unavoidable.

However, I also believe this should not be taken to the extreme like causing others distress or breaking the law.

Spending time outside, I usually see youngsters being the loudest. If parents and authority figures around them have instilled respect for others within a youngster, they will not cause discomfort to others. Sometimes this is not the case however.

I call everyone to play their part in the community. People should be considerate towards others whereas, we, as members of society, should be more tolerant and forgiving towards all, especially the youth.

– From Ms Raya Khalid, Dubai resident

If you erupt when your kids don’t listen or when the play becomes wild, we get it. But here’s how to stop your tirades once and for all—even when you really, really (really) want to yell.

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Many parents have yelled at their children—and most of us feel pretty bad about it. In fact, a Parents survey revealed that of all the things that induce guilt—being distracted by the phone, allowing too much screen time, not cooking healthy foods—being remorseful about shouting topped the list. But how can you keep your anger in check? The answer is simply to break the habit, at least according to Laura Markham, Ph.D., author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.

“Every time you don’t act on the urge to yell, you rewire your brain so it’s no longer your default reaction,” she says. I knew from past attempts to kick other habits that I wasn’t going to wake up tomorrow as a non-yeller, all cold turkey-like. (Full disclosure: It took me an entire year to wean myself from putting sugar in my morning coffee.) Rehabbing would need to be a process—a five-step process, to be exact. Here’s what I learned about how to stop yelling at your kids.

1. Quit Yelling About Ordinary Stuff.

Until I consciously monitored myself, I was completely unaware of how often I raise my voice about silly, non-frustrating, everyday things: “Dinner’s ready!” “Turn the music down!” “Close the screen door!” This elevates the volume level in our whole house—and normalizes it.

“Instead, try walking right up to your kids and talking to them in a regular speaking voice,” suggests Parentsadvisor Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., author of Growing Friendships: A Kids’ Guide to Making and Keeping Friends.

This has a boomerang effect. When we summon them quietly, they stop screeching back, “I’m coming!” or “In a minute!”

2. Put Out Your Own Fire.

When Dr. Markham suggested that I start meditating for five minutes every day, I laughed. But as she points out, study after study proves that taking time for daily introspection helps us “chill ourselves out in the heat of the moment.”

Need help? Try downloading a meditation app like Calm or Headspace. These guided programs will help you learn how to ignore distractions and be in the moment.

3. Think Of a Safe Word.

“Come up with a phrase to tell yourself as soon as you realize you’re about to freak out,” says Dr. Markham. She suggests “Choose love” or “You’ve got this.” Self-soothing phrases won’t just stop you from flipping your lid. They are most effective at helping us hijack each other’s explosions. If I see my husband’s jaw get tense, for example, I saw his safe word, “snow.” That’s all it takes to shake his annoyance.

4. Get Close.

While my husband and I have (mostly) curbed our yelling, our children still push our buttons and misbehave. When they don’t listen, it makes me want to, well, shout. But instead of consequences or lost privileges, Dr. Markham suggests I focus on a gentler method: reconnecting. Literally. Get down at your child’s level, put your arm around them, and tell them that you understand how they feel. This approach will help everyone stay calm.

5. Tone Down Those Trigger Moments.

Weekday mornings are when I’m always most likely to yell. So many tasks need to be accomplished in a finite amount of time that I feel like I’m sprinting up Mount Everest. It’s maddening, but getting mad doesn’t help. “You have to be able to keep your cool in order for your kids to keep theirs,” says Vanessa Lapointe, Ph.D., author of Discipline Without Damage: How to Get Your Kids to Behave Without Messing Them Up.

I start with my opening move. At Dr. Lapointe’s suggestion, instead of awakening them by charging into their bedrooms with a brisk (and admittedly jarring) “Rise and shine,” I begin the day using a more pleasant, neutral “Good morning, sweetheart” and aspire to maintain this pitch all day. When my children volley with their typical shenanigans, I choose not to sharply remind them that “the bus will be here in 22 minutes.” Instead, I inject some humor, pointing out that our dog, who is lying on the floor of their room, just burped so loudly that she actually scared herself. Usually, this elicits a giggle. Then, as if forgetting to be her usual irritable self, they get dressed and come down for breakfast without complaining, screaming, or making a fuss. Simple enough.

Since embarking on my journey a month ago, I’ve noticed something unfamiliar in our house: quiet. It’s not tranquil all the time (because, you know, kids) but more often than not, our family is less agitated and shrill. Plus, when I yell, it’s usually for good reason—like when kids nearly ran into the street. And because I do it far less often, my kids actually hear me when I do.

Oceanlike

Senior Member
  • Mar 23, 2019
  • #1
  • I used ‘louder’ for a grammar exercise. The given answer is ‘more loudly’. Why is it so?

    The emcee encouraged every person to speak LOUDER/MORE LOUDLY when they deliver their speech.

    Rover_KE

    Moderator
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • #2
  • Both versions are correct. The word ‘loud’, besides being an adjective, is also an adverb in its own right, so speak louder is fine.

    adv.

    1. in a loud manner: loudly: Don’t talk so loud.
    Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • #3
  • Tarheel

    VIP Member
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • #4
  • Two things, Oceanlike.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with louder. In fact, you hear it often. Example: “I couldn’t understand you. Please speak louder.” However, more loudly seems downright weird to me.

    There is no need to put “Thank you” in your opening post. In fact, I wish you wouldn’t.

    Rover_KE

    Moderator
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • #5
  • How to stop speaking so loudly

    Charlie Bernstein

    VIP Member
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • #6
  • Two things, Oceanlike.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with louder. . . . However, more loudly seems downright weird to me. . . .

    Both sound fine to me.

    Oceanlike, when you get several different opinions here, it just means that there are a lot of ways to speak English.

    Oceanlike

    Senior Member
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #7
  • Two things, Oceanlike.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with louder. In fact, you hear it often. Example: “I couldn’t understand you. Please speak louder.” However, more loudly seems downright weird to me.

    There is no need to put “Thank you” in your opening post. In fact, I wish you wouldn’t.

    Me too! I think ‘more loudly’ is so weird!

    About the “Thank you” that I usually put along with my original post, it’s just natural to me as I appreciate folks like you taking time to help me understand stuff. May I know is it not okay to do that? It comes naturally to me to express my appreciation via ‘thank you’.

    “In fact, I wish you wouldn’t” —- why? I sincerely appreciate being able to learn from all of you.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    emsr2d2

    Moderator
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #8
  • Me too! I think ‘more loudly’ is so weird!

    About the “Thank you” that I usually put along with my original post, it’s just natural to me as I appreciate folks like you taking time to help me understand stuff. May I know is it not okay to do that? It comes naturally to me to express my appreciation via ‘thank you’.

    “In fact, I wish you wouldn’t” —- why? I sincerely appreciate being able to learn from all of you.

    Oceanlike

    Senior Member
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #9
  • Usually I click “Thank” when I’m unsure about the accuracy of the reply due to my inability to understand the way things are phrased OR to express thanks to the person who took time to reply.

    I didn’t know it’s frowned on 🙁

    I’ll learn not to click ‘Thank’ then.

    Oceanlike

    Senior Member
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #10
  • Rover_KE

    Moderator
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #11
  • How to stop speaking so loudly

    emsr2d2

    Moderator
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #12
  • How to stop speaking so loudly

    Charlie Bernstein

    VIP Member
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #13
  • Usually I click “Thank” when I’m unsure about the accuracy of the reply due to my inability to understand the way things are phrased OR to express thanks to the person who took time to reply.

    I didn’t know it’s frowned on 🙁

    I’ll learn not to click ‘Thank’ then.

    No one is frowning except your little round friend there.

    Use Thank to thank. If you like a post, use Like.

    GoesStation

    No Longer With Us
    • Mar 25, 2019
  • #14
  • About the “Thank you” that I usually put along with my original post, it’s just natural to me as I appreciate folks like you taking time to help me understand stuff. May I know is it not okay to do that? It comes naturally to me to express my appreciation via ‘thank you’.

    “In fact, I wish you wouldn’t” —- why? I sincerely appreciate being able to learn from all of you.

    There’s a simple, practical reason why those of us who frequently answer questions here prefer that you don’t include a closing line in your posts. We like to keep quoted text as short as possible, so we delete extraneous material from quotes—including the “Thank you” some posters courteously add. This gets tedious after a while.

    There’s a simple alternative: open your profile and add a signature line. Signatures appear below the body of a post and aren’t included when quoting, so they provide a way for you to add a courteous “thanks” without making responders do extra work.

    My signature line says “I am not a teacher.” Yours could say something about your gratitude for the help you get here.

    TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership. Read full profile

    How to stop speaking so loudly

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    Cellphones have become essential for everyone. As for me, I can’t even imagine going out without my cellphone on any given day. I can’t bear to be on the playing field without my gadget of choice — my cellphone.

    What’s more, as professionals, we are expected to have etiquette in everything we do, including how to handle phones. Cellphones in particular have become part of the basic items we carry all the time. Besides, it’s a communication tool, so proper etiquette is expected from everyone using it.

    We know the etiquette in the US regarding cellphones, how about in other parts of the world. What is expected of cellphone wielding people like us?

    Let’s go to France — the French people tend to speak softer than most other nationalities, so speaking loudly on a phone is absolutely rude. They are also careful not to give personal information over phone conversations.

    On we go to Japan. In the land of the rising sun, it is considered bad behavior to talk on your phone around strangers especially in public places. The social norm is to excuse yourself and go to an area where people will not be able to hear your phone tete-a-tete.

    Next, why don’t we visit the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy? During a sales meeting in the Italian Republic, it’s acceptable to keep your phone on if you happen to be the client, but sales people are expected to turn off their phones all throughout the duration of the meeting.

    How about the rest of the world, what’s the accepted behavior when handling your cellphones? Join me, let’s check them below.

    Fix this issue quickly

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    ‘Truth can be like a large bothersome fly
    – brush it away and it returns buzzing’

    Yahia Lababidi

    It goes without saying that your speakers are supposed to delight your ears. That said, if you are here, you are most likely being prevented from enjoying your favourite audio – thanks to the annoying buzzing that your sound device is erupting with. Unfortunately, this adversity is quite common these days since no speaker is immune from sound issues. But the good news is, the problem in question is 100 % solvable. Just check our top 7 tips on how to stop speaker from buzzing sound:

    1. Check the volume

    Buzzing speakers are a real nuisance, and yet they might be quite a minor issue. First and foremost, let’s check your volume level: it is supposed to be at least 75 percent of your speakers’ maximum capacity. So, adjust the volume on your speakers and see if this has resolved your issue.

    2. Check your audio cable and port

    Chances are your audio cable or port might be behind the buzzing problem. Thus, we recommend you to switch to another port or cable and check if the issue persists. This procedure may help you identify the culprit.

    3. Update your drivers

    If you keep wondering how to fix speaker making buzzing sound, it is high time you took a closer look at your audio driver: it might be faulty or corrupt.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Resolve PC Issues with Driver Updater

    Unstable PC performance is often caused by outdated or corrupt drivers. Auslogics Driver Updater diagnoses driver issues and lets you update old drivers all at once or one at a time to get your PC running smoother

    Nonetheless, you might as well opt for another solution – using the built-in Device Manager tool will help you automate the process of updating your audio driver. This option is safer since it is your operating system that is responsible to look for the drivers compatible with your hardware, so there is no risk of human error.

    Here is how to use Device Manager to update your audio driver in

    1. Locate the Windows logo icon on the taskbar and click on it to open the Start menu.
    2. Right-click on Computer and select the option Manage.
    3. The Computer Management screen will show up. Locate Device Manager and click on it.
    4. In the list of available devices, locate and right-click on your speakers.
    5. Select the option which implies updating their audio driver.

    Windows 8 (8.1)

    1. On the taskbar, locate your Windows logo icon.
    2. You will see the Quick Access menu. From the list of available options, select Device Manager.
    3. Right-click on the sound device which driver you would like to update.
    4. Select Update driver software to update your audio driver.
    1. Use the Windows logo key and the letter X key shortcut on your keyboard.
    2. Select Device Manager from the list of available options.
    3. Navigate to your speakers. Right-click on the device and select the option to update its driver.

    It is essential that you choose the option that lets your operating system search for the necessary driver online.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    After getting the all-clear to proceed, restart the computer and check if the buzzing sound issue persists.

    What you should know is that the Device Manager method is by no means flawless: for example, the applet in question might fail to find the driver needed. Besides, you are supposed to use the instructions above for every piece of hardware which driver needs updating. As such, we advise using software that will do the job for you. For example, Auslogics Driver Updater will scan and update all your drivers in one click – not only those related to your speakers. Obviously, this will save you a lot of time and effort. And what is also important is that this intuitive and affordable tool will install the best drivers for your system – the latest manufacturer-recommended versions, to be precise – which inevitably means better PC performance and user experience.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    4. Check the transformer

    If updating your drivers has been to no avail, you should inspect your transformer: if it is acting weird, being unstable or is attracting too much of your attention, you should switch to a new transformer without further delay.

    5. Fix a ground loop

    No luck so far? Then a ground loop is most likely the reason buzzing noise is coming out of your speakers. In a nutshell, a ground loop results from a clash of different ground potentials of AC sources or equipment, and this brings about audible or visual hum. In such a case, what you should do is purchase a ground isolator – it will resolve your buzzing issue so that you can enjoy your audio again.

    6. Prevent frequency interference

    These days our homes literally gleam with modern gadgetry. In fact, we have so many all-singing, all-dancing devices that this often brings about persistent frequency interference issues.

    In a case like this, turn off and unplug the devices that are placed in proximity to your buzzing speakers. If this manoeuvre has resolved the problem, switch those devices on one at a time to find out which is the culprit. Once you are done with that check, make sure you keep your speakers far away from the device that triggers the buzzing nuisance.

    7. Tweak your audio settings

    If none of the solutions above has helped you fix speaker making buzzing sound, then it is time to configure your audio settings:

    1. Open your Start menu and proceed to Control Panel.
    2. Click on the Hardware and Sound section. Then click on Sound.
    3. In the Playback tab, locate your speaker device.
    4. Right-click on it and select Properties.
    5. Navigate to the Enhancements tab.
    6. Locate the Disable all enhancements option. If it is checked, uncheck it.How to stop speaking so loudly
    7. Click Apply and OK to save your changes.

    We hope there is no buzz coming through your speakers now.

    Do you have any ideas or questions regarding this issue?

    We are looking forward to your comments!

    Change how loudly or softly Siri speaks on your iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, or HomePod.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Change Siri’s volume on your iPhone

    You can ask Siri to change your volume settings. Just say “Hey Siri, speak louder” or “Hey Siri, speak quieter.”

    If you want to change the volume when Siri is speaking or when you’re using headphones, press the Volume buttons on the side of your iPhone.

    If you can’t hear Siri, you might need to turn on Ring mode.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Change Siri’s volume on your Apple Watch

    Raise your wrist and speak into your Apple Watch. Just say “Hey Siri, speak louder” or “Hey Siri, speak quieter.”

    You can also change the volume in Settings:

    1. On your Apple Watch, open the Settings app.
    2. Tap Siri.
    3. Scroll down to Voice Volume — Speaker.
    4. Tap the volume controls. Or tap the slider, then turn the Digital Crown.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Change Siri’s volume on your Mac

    When Siri is speaking, click the Volume control in the menu bar, then drag the slider to adjust the volume. You can also use the volume keys on your keyboard.

    If you’re using headphones, adjust the volume from your Mac.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Change Siri’s volume on your HomePod

    You can ask Siri to speak louder, quieter, or at a specific volume. Say “Hey Siri,” then say something like:

    • “Speak louder.”
    • “Always speak quieter.”
    • “Set your volume to sixty percent.”

    HomePod automatically adjusts Siri’s response volume based on the level of noise in the room, your distance from HomePod, and how loudly you’re speaking to Siri. You can turn automatic volume on or off by saying, “Hey Siri, turn on automatic Siri volume,” or “Hey Siri, turn off automatic Siri volume.”

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Are you getting reports from your child’s teacher saying that your child speaks too softly while at school but they are not at home?

    If you are getting these types of reports, there are many reasons why your child speaks softly while in school. It could be because their personality influences them to remain quiet and watch the world around them silently. They may also be nervous in speaking out in public, or their self-confidence is lacking. In some instances, it may be because your child may have a problem with their vocal cords or they really have a naturally soft voice.

    No matter which reason it may be, it could be a problem for your child’s performance in school and even in their emotional and social development.

    So, what do you do to help them?

    Here are the things parents can do to help their soft-spoken kids improve their performance in school:

    Read aloud

    A great way of helping your child speak out loud is by helping them develop a passion for reading and speaking out the story out loud. As they read their favorite story, they could practice the different voices of the characters they read and how loud or soft they should be. You can record your child’s reading and get your child to listen with you. Check how your child’s voice changes or when it fades and help them gently to correct their vocals.

    Breathing exercises

    One’s vocal volume may also be affected by their nerves. If your kid tends to get nervous when speaking to people or before a large crowd, help them by teaching them simple breathing exercises which they can do before speaking.

    Proper posture

    Confidence can go a long way for soft-spoken children, so it is great to help them by teaching them how to stand up properly. As they learn how to stand up properly, you can teach them how to lift their chin up so their voice flows out continuously. When they are able to do this seamlessly, you would notice their confidence growing and their voice no longer faltering in tone.

    Practice

    Speaking loudly before others can be difficult for kids if they are not exposed to situations that will allow them to practice. In this case, try getting them to get involved in discussions so they can practice speaking loudly to others and interact properly. You can even help them practice by asking them questions about their day.

    Make it fun

    Speaking may sometimes seem boring for some kids, especially for those who prefer to just observe people and do things silently. In order to get them to speak out, why don’t you make your approach fun for them to do?

    You can make tin can telephones where they can play pretend calls with you and hear how your voices sound through the phones. Aside from a tin telephone, you can make them their own megaphone and let them hear themselves speak loudly.

    You can also do role-playing with them as a bonding activity. As you role-play different characters with your child, your child gets to practice how to speak in different accents and volumes depending on the story you are trying to do and have fun at the same time.

    If your child often sings out their favorite songs, why not sing out the first lines loudly and get them to sing the next lines loudly?

    Take classes

    You can also enroll your child in one of Singapore’s tuition schools offering speech or drama classes where they can practice speaking loudly. These classes will not just help your child learn to speak loudly, but it would also bolster their confidence and help them mingle with others easily. They may even develop a talent your child never knew they had.

    Alternatively, you can seek one of the many tutors in Singapore offering special tuition classes that would get your child to practice their speech. These tutors can check up your child’s progress more closely and determine which speech practices and lessons would work perfectly to get your child to perform better and speak louder.

    Encourage him or her

    For some kids, it is hard to speak out loud because they would be compared to others. If they don’t speak well to other people, their peers may tease them for their failure and effectively be causing their self-confidence to crumble. It would also cause them to question themselves if they should speak out loudly or just stay silent.

    As a parent, do not compare them to others or embarrass them in front of others because it will only make them reluctant to speak out. When they do speak out, wait for them to finish and praise them for their effort. You should also acknowledge your child when they speak out to let them know their voice and opinion is heard.

    Seek professional help

    If you think her voice is affected by a medical condition, you should bring them to a speech therapist. A speech therapist can determine if your child will need further medical assistance regarding their speech or if they do not, provide exercises for your child to follow to speak louder. If they do need medical assistance, seek the advice of a doctor immediately to determine how to proceed from there.

    If you do not know any speech therapist to help your child, you can ask your child’s tutor or tuition school for advice or check online.

    Final Remarks

    Every child needs a guiding hand as they face the world where voices reign alongside their minds. In terms of their voice, it has to be honed in order for others to hear their thoughts.

    If your child is soft-spoken, don’t be afraid to try out any one of the tips listed above to get you started. Your kids will need all the help they can get to grow and develop properly. With your support and dedication, your kids would realize how important their voices are in the world and start speaking out louder than ever before.

    To effectively encourage your child, these are useful articles for you:

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Mainland Chinese people have become notorious for their noisiness. Some people think that this is an indication of insensitivity and rudeness.

    Do all Chinese people speak loudly in public?

    It is true that Chinese people tend to speak very loudly to one another, even indoors and in public.

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    Cartoon: Don’t make loud mobile phone calls

    In some countries, such as Switzerland, where Chinese people visit as large groups of tourists, their loud talking has been considered offensive, and steps have been taken to try to get them to be quieter and more considerate of those around them.

    One of the places where the noise is most noticeable would be in a crowded Chinese restaurant where there are several groups, each group gathered around a large circular table where they are sharing plates of food and playing drinking games.

    You might have been at a tourist site outside of China and observed the arrival of a busload of Chinese people. Led by their guide waving a small flag or colored umbrella, you can hear them coming from a distance.

    Why do Chinese people behave the way they do?

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    The folk activity in China

    You could put it down to something like simple exuberance. Basically being loud is seen as the good, honest way to be.

    First of all, Chinese people live in a noisy environment which is inevitable with the density of crowds and the rowdy traffic in China, such that people are forced to talk loudly, just to make themselves heard, or even noticed. Some have suggested that what started thus as a necessity has simply become a habit everywhere.

    In the restaurant situation mentioned above, with their loud talking, each group creates a kind of private social space which is inclusive to everyone within the circle and excludes those outside. And then when they require more food or drinks, they need to use a louder voice to call the waiter and be heard above the noise of other competing groups.

    In private social situations, such as a person visiting someone’s home, loud voices can be an indication of cheerfulness, friendliness and hospitality.

    In a conversation, if a person is speaking too quietly it is considered strange, and listeners very quickly get bored with the lack of drama. Speaking loudly is a sign of confidence, and possibly honesty. Being shy, timid and quiet is seen as not so good. Speaking loudly (enough) is a way to save face, which is very important in Chinese society.

    In China, when people need to attract attention, make a point, or show authority, the most obvious way is to be loud, and then they can be sure that people clearly hear what is said.

    Loud noises are also considered in some situations to be “auspicious”. At the celebrations for New Year, for example, there are fireworks and a lot of loud noises which frighten away bad spirits, and keep everyone happy.

    Why people cannot hear the noise they make

    How to stop speaking so loudly

    The ear is a sensory organ of hearing and balance, and it does an amazing job of self-protection. It can partly close when you hear an extremely loud sound, but how does it do this?

    Before answering this question, we should talk about how many decibels our ears can withstand. Normally, we can hear sounds within a frequency range from around 20Hz on the low end to 20,000Hz on the high end. About 20-40dB sounds like a whisper, and the sound of normal conversation is between 40 and 70 decibels. Your hearing will be damaged when the sounds are over 90dB. When a person stays in a place with sounds at 100-120dB, they can experience temporary hearing loss or deafness.

    Fortunately, our ears have an acoustic reflex, also known as the middle-ear-muscles (MEM) reflex. This reflex starts at a high decibel level of over 85dB. For example, when we listen to music, sometimes we find the sound gets lower and lower but volume is unchanged. In such a position, the volume may damage your hearing. This is because the acoustic reflex works to prevent hearing impairments.

    Except for high decibels, the reflex also works in advance when we are ready to talk and eat, and can reduce the volume to about 15dB, as we heard. Thus, you can understand why loud people do not even notice that they are creating noise. Their acoustic reflex is protecting them, but other people around them can be hurt accidentally.

    How can you respond to this behavior?

    The most important thing is not to take offence. It might seem difficult to realize when you are seeing everything through your own western cultural grid that people are not trying to be irritating, they are in fact being friendly.

    You can respond by joining in, in the same spirit of cordiality and cheerfulness. Keep smiling, even when your ears are hurting, and maybe have some of what they are having to help you relax and enjoy it.

    Stories of my adventures working with seniors in a retirement and assisted living community. Also my life as an aging not so fit 60+ year old

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    You’re gonna love retirement

    You are going to wonder how you ever found time to work. These were the sentiments of my early retired friends. I had planned for it, I had looked forward to it and on Sept 30 th 2002 it was here my retirement!

    Oct. 1st, my first day of retirement,was spent at Northwestern Hospital. My partner known to me as Bunny ( she is going to kill me for this reveal) was having a colonoscopy . I spent my retirement in the waiting room while she slept and slept and slept off the effects of the drugs used to relax her. She really knows how to relax, a whole days worth.

    Turns out that this was my ONLY day of retirement as I had accepted a job as the “other nurse” at our nearby private retirement community. I began my new career on Oct 2 nd . What to expect? 33 years as a Child Welfare worker dealing with abused and neglected children had not really prepared me for this new job. 7 years later I now know nothing could have prepared me.

    Surely they couldn’t leave me alone on my first day? How was I ever going to learn the names of 170+ residents. I had sent 33 years serving clients, would I get use to residents not clients? The full time RN aka “The Nurse” was pretty attentive to my needs and began my orientation. But even the most dedicated of RN’s have to pee. Nurse C. was no exception. I sat quietly awaiting her return. There in the door appears ( no not reindeer) but two adult children. Are you the nurse, they inquire? Well I say timidly for me, I am the “other nurse”. Can we talk to you about our father Mr. C.? Of course,I reply. If I can do nothing else,I can talk. We have a question, how do we stop our father from sleeping with his caregiver? Gulp, family dysfunction right there in front of my eyes. Had I not left this behind for my new career as the next Florence Nightengale ? Obviously not, as they somewhat angrily awaited for my reply. Is he of sound mind I ask? They glumly nod yes? What blurts from me? Why advice, of course. I boldly announce “I sure hope he is using protection.” Protection screams the daughter. He is taking her in a cab to his condo and they are “doing it”! I understand that I respond but they are consenting adults. I again explain that although we (hoping Nurse C hurries back) can speak with him, we can’t stop him. They disgustedly turn and leave. It says Wellness Center on the door, but clearly not all is well.

    Much too late, in my view, Nurse C. returns. She assures me that I have done just the right thing (it does not feel right) and we proceed with the days activities.
    Time marches on and we land on Oct 31st. I have survived a month and am beginning to gain a little confidence. I get a call from the front desk. Calls from the front desk equate most times to emergencies. Go do your healing thing is what they expect. The report is that someone is stuck on the 6 th floor. What does this mean?? The receptionist doesn’t know but does know that I am needed stat. Fear is creeping up as I don’t have a whole lot of “nursing” experience in geriatric emergencies.I head for the impending doom on floor number 6. I exit the elevator and see a small crowd gathered in front of an apt. door. In the door bent over and wedged between the frame is none other than Mr. C. He is frozen and not speaking any words that I can decipher as English. Nimbly I crawl under him into the kitchen and grab a chair. I have no clue why he is frozen but recognize astutely that he should NOT be. None of this was ever in my nursing books. With a great deal of leg tapping, gentle pushes and helpful advice from the growing crowd of residents I get him onto the chair. In just a matter of minutes, with my healing touch, I am able to coax him into his recliner. I put on my listening ears and figure out that he has not taken his medication for his Parkinson’s. No meds ,means no movement, no clear speech I begin to realize. Has he forgotten his meds , has he run out I inquire? He looks at me with disdain. Do I not understand that he cannot take it? Maybe he can’t swallow, maybe he can’t get to it, maybe he can’t open it, are any of those reasons the cause of the problem? More disdain and a head shake from Mr. C.. I CAN’T take it he explains because it interferes with my Viagra! At this moment I realize I need to write this down. I know it is the beginning of an interesting,comical and at times profoundly sad set of events I will want to remember. It has taken me many years but at last the stories of my lambs and ducklings as I have loving learned to call them has begun.

    Dealing with some level of noise in your apartment is necessary. The problem starts when the sounds coming from your neighbors—from loud sex to blasting music—affect your daily life.

    The sound of people walking around the apartment typically falls under justifiable, everyday noises. However, if the upstairs neighbors are stomping around like a herd of elephants—disrupting your work or waking up your child—you have the right to complain.

    “I have loud-walking upstairs neighbors—what to do” is a question we’re going to answer in this article!

    When Can I File a Complaint About My Upstairs Neighbor’s Loud Footsteps?

    Before filing a complaint about your neighbors’ loud walking, you should check local noise ordinance laws. Every city establishes an acceptable level of noise from your neighbors you must put up with. If your neighbors are renters, you can also check the lease or building’s noise policy to see if they are breaking any rules.

    Loud-walking noises are unfortunately difficult to address. Only if the noise is extremely disturbing can you seek help under local noise ordinances. Luckily, there are other ways to handle your neighbor’s loud footsteps before resorting to drastic measures.

    How Do I Turn Down My Upstairs Neighbors’ Loud Footsteps?

    Check out the potential methods of resolving the noise issues with your neighbors:

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    As a loud talker, there’s not much that I’ve found to be effective. I’ve just become known as the Loud Guy. God help me if I’m on a cell phone. I just shout.

    With that being said, have you had your hearing checked recently? You may be compensating for hearing loss by speaking louder.

    Or you may just be one of us. The Boomers.
    posted by unixrat at 10:20 PM on November 9, 2005

    Hearing proficiency testing may be informative.

    I have very sensitive hearing (I hate hate hate loud noises) but something that my grade 4 teacher said to me, in front of the entire class; “You have a very low voice and it carries really loud. Stop talking to that girl next to you in class. Everyone can hear you.”

    I have a friend who fits the “normally quiet, occassionally excited-loud.” It’s a positive. until he goes on a tangent. Sorry, no concrete advice –

    Can you figure out why your volume goes up? (being ignored, being particularly passionate about something, competing against other voices, just generally being excited, &c)

    Figuring out the source is a positive step in trying to modify your behavior.
    posted by PurplePorpoise at 10:54 PM on November 9, 2005

    Try not to speak any louder than the loudest person in the group.

    In music, if you want to draw your audience in, you play more softly. This is also true of conversation.
    posted by wsg at 12:14 AM on November 10, 2005

    I’ve done the same thing my whole life. According to what I’ve read, it is a common trait in people who have AD/HD (lifelong, family history, not just a Pop diagnosis). The only way that I have found to control it is to be very mindful of my excitement level and just slow down. And remember to breathe.

    Also, when I took acting classes, my instructor did point out that it is natural for people to raise the tone, volume, and speed of their speech in relation to their level of stress or excitement. Most people don’t notice that they do it, apparantly.

    Not very helpful, really. The best thing is just not to care and be with people who understand you.
    posted by monopas at 12:21 AM on November 10, 2005

    I’m glad that you asked this question. I have the same problem, although mine’s a little worse – I’m usually a loud talker, and I get even LOUDER when I’m excited. Sometimes it’s a bit random – I’ll get louder even when I’m not more excited. I would love to explore ways to become less loud, since I think it puts people off and prevents them from wanting to befriend me.

    I’ve had my hearing checked out, and they didn’t find any problems. I was quite surprised by this – especially since I have a very hard time understanding people who are “mumblers.” I have a friend who’s the “mutters stuff under her breath” type, and I’m always asking her to repeat what she just said. This is made worse by the fact that what she’s “muttering under her breath” is often some snarky or sarcastic comment. I seriously think that this has prevented us from becoming better friends.

    (I have also accepted the possibility that she really does talk too softly)

    This brings up another question – what to do when you didn’t hear something that someone just said, and don’t want to break the flow of conversation? What happens when you ask them to repeat, and you still don’t understand what they said, even the second time they say it? I find that this is particularly a problem with “quiet talkers” and people with accents.

    And yet another question (almost completely unrelated) – I find that I have a lot of trouble understanding people who have very thick accents. However, I’ve noticed people around me not having the same trouble, even though they aren’t any more familiar with the speaker’s native language. What’s up with this?
    posted by afroblanca at 7:28 AM on November 10, 2005

    First. My wife used to do this a lot when she would get really excited, she would get embarassed about it, so she asked me to point it out when she did it. Now she usually is able to keep it in check as she becomes more and more aware of it. Maybe have a close friend or two just give you a small nod when you are being too loud so you can gauge what level feels and sounds natural.

    Second. Sometimes the only reason why problems like this are noticed in the first place is not because you talk too loudly, it may be just because you talk a lot, or at least a lot more than the other people in the conversation. I have a friend that does this, his voice isnt much louder than normal, but because he talks so much we notice how loud he is a lot more, and after a while it gets annoying.

    Try not to overcompensate though, we have an aunt that when she first got hearing aids used to talk really loud, now shes embarrassed and when she talks its hardly above a whisper and we can never hear her.
    posted by skrike at 9:42 AM on November 10, 2005