Women–Are you heard?
Do you have to repeat what you said to be heard?
Do you get interrupted while trying to get across an important point?
Women are often spoken over, interrupted, or even disregarded in their speech in both social situations and the workplace. “The Unheard Female Voice,” an article by Stephanie Watson details some of the reasons women are disregarded or talked over in their speech was published recently by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Three reasons were sighted as to why women may be talked over or disregarded.
#1. Higher Pitch. In general, women’s voices are about an octave higher than men’s. Higher pitched voices do not project well and deeper voices come across with more authority.
#2. Upspeak. Women are more prone to ending sentences on a higher pitch, sounding unsure and diminutive.
#3. Word choice. Many women speak with tentative language. Rather than making a strong statement, such as “Let’s eat lunch at the café,” they will say, “I was thinking we could eat lunch at the café.” This language conveys uncertainty and also opens you up for interruption.
Empower your voice:
Are you tired of being interrupted? Then it’s time to take action! A few simple techniques can change your speech patterns to be more assertive and help you feel more confident and self-assured at work and in social situations.
1. Practice breathing techniques. Speaking on a full breath will help you talk with a lower voice and give you the volume to project your voice to the back of the room without straining.
2. Slow down, enunciate, and round out your vowels. Paying attention to your pronunciation will further project your skills and confidence.
3. Rehearse what you will say. Rehearsing is a great tool to improve your speech for both presentations, meetings, and social interactions. Take a few practice rounds while walking the dog or driving to work.
Working with a corporate speech pathologist is a great way to learn new speaking and breathing techniques to help ensure you’re communicating well in every situation. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Triad Speech Consultants to talk about your goals and your speech, and you’ll receive some techniques to improve your speech immediately.