I am a female adult. I am constantly aware that I have a very slow, drawn out voice which sounds like I’m falling asleep. It doesn’t feel like I hold people’s attention. It is affecting my confidence as I choose not to offer my opinion in group situations (professional and social) in case everyone thinks I sound weird. People either love or hate my voice but I just wish it wasn’t something to be commented upon. It tends to happen most when I am bored or tired. I hate it and am conscious of it every single time I speak and wish it could speed up. I dread the thought that my future children will pick up the same style of speech. Thank you for your consideration.
One of the features of language is rhythm or pacing, and it communicates certain things about our personality, our emotional pitch and our state of mind. I live in New York City where we tend to race around, “talk a mile a minute,” and have the opposite concern — we need to slow down. Because it is a reflection of all that is going on with us, changing the rhythm and pacing of our speech is not merely a question of speaking faster or slower; it might require being faster or slower. Practicing reading aloud at a rapid pace will help you to develop your articulation and breath management so that you technically have the ability to speak faster. You might do some tongue, lip and facial exercises to get the muscles to be flexible and responsive. You might also try doing some high speed walking to increase your heart rate and overall energy level. As you push yourself to read rapidly, perhaps you will be able to identify any resistance, feelings or thoughts that keep you in slow motion. Beyond that, observe yourself and consider how quickly you move, how quickly you think. Perhaps you are a person who considers choices carefully and rarely has to apologize because you don’t speak in haste. Breaking patterns takes time and dogged commitment. We change by countless repetitions of the new behavior we want to incorporate until it finally becomes a reflex, until we have a new pattern of speaking. You might enjoy working with a coach and having feedback.