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  #1  
Old Aug 10, '05, 10:00 am
caroljm36 caroljm36 is offline
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Angry why do some people speak so softly

OK so I'm a geezer and a little deaf--I paid my baby-boomer dues at a lot of rock concerts. Yea baby, Hendrix American tour '68!

But there seems to be some sort of trend for people, especially people in power, to speak so softly in conversation or in public that they can't be heard. I've noticed it with a newspaper publisher, an editor, a J-school dean, and a judge--in open court mind you. I mean they talk just loud enough to hear themselves and no louder. Obviously some women just don't have the vocal equipment but these were men and you'd think they'd be able to project. The judge's voice seemed wimpy and almost sickly but there was nothing wrong with his health.

I was reminded of this yesterday when a colleague at work came up to me in the lunchroom and asked a question so softly I had to ask him to repeat 3 times. I felt so stupid! But I also remember having to ask the judge to repeat several times in court--it drove me crazy. But I don't have problems understanding my pastors, program speakers at my club, or professional peakers at seminars.

Recently I went to a Toastmasters and one of the speakers lowered her voice to a whisper and all the "evaluators" said wow, that was real powerful (but we couldn't hear it all that well). I saw it as a sin against public speaking! Then I read in "How to Work a Room" that speaking very quietly was considered very effective, tres powerful!

Hey I don't like loud orators either but do people feel it not worth their time to project their voices beyond a mutter? Is it just a good ol' fashioned power trip??
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  #2  
Old Aug 10, '05, 2:45 pm
Celia Celia is offline
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Default Re: why do some people speak so softly

Well, I'm a woman but I've always been told I speak very quietly. The thing is, I don't realize that I'm speaking that quiet. I get a lot of, "what?? I still can't hear you" even when I feel like I am speaking louder than usual. So sometimes the person may not even realize that they are being that quiet, because I never do. I've always been kind of shy and it's just my natural inclination to speak lower.
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Old Aug 10, '05, 2:53 pm
turboEDvo turboEDvo is offline
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Default Re: why do some people speak so softly

Meh, I make sure people can hear me. I almost never have trouble with it. But when people talk really softly, I get annoyed. I think some people are taught to talk softly as a polite gesture (I guess I never learned that )

Eamon
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Old Aug 10, '05, 3:22 pm
caroljm36 caroljm36 is offline
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Default Re: why do some people speak so softly

Quote:
Originally Posted by turboEDvo
I think some people are taught to talk softly as a polite gesture (I guess I never learned that )

Eamon
Same here! That reminds me of when I went to this psychologist years ago. I was pretty emotional and probably speaking too loud, and she kept speaking more and more quietly until I couldn't hear her. I didn't catch on for awhile then realized she was trying to make me speak quieter by doing so herself. I was supposed to "mirror" her. The indirection and manipulativeness of it irritated me so I didn't go back. (I admit I do "mirror" people at times but it's only when I really admire and like someone first.)
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