In an article I posted some time ago, I have received numerous comments through the years about ‘How the Soft-Spoken Are Judged,’ one of which the writer said,
- “Thank you for this article. I was speaking to my boss in my internship about my interview performance. She clearly told me that I was soft spoken, had a lack of assuredness, and was shy or introverted, which is exactly what you said in the article. However, I thought I was too loud, too dominant, and aggressive. It felt like I made others feel shy. That’s a huge irony and a setback for me. I feel like it has to do with the fact that I usually listen to people more than I speak. I am 20 years old and English is not my first language.”
If you are soft-spoken, how do you think others judge you? Do you think they regard you as being confident, assertive, and self-assured? If you are concerned about the image you project, then your soft-spoken voice is definitely not projecting those qualities. Instead, your lack of volume is rightly or wrongly saying that you are shy, introverted, and lacking in confidence.
Another woman named Tammy wrote:
- “Yes people are often judged this way, and I have experience in this too – but have changed my ways for tone of voice. Its common sense, but I guess most people want to see what they are more comfortable with than the truth (at times). I had to be more assertive when starting my business and I think that is what allowed me to progress in life much further than I thought possible.”
Learning to increase your volume to a normal level of sound takes practice and the retraining of your inner ear because you need to be able to accept that increase. The issue is not to make you speak loudly but to learn to speak at a level that is comfortable for all to hear without having to repeat yourself.
If you are confident but speak softly, your lack of volume is holding you back, not your confidence. And, if you are not being heard the first time you speak, then often there is no second chance because those with larger voices will control the conversation.
Do not allow your lack of volume to stand in your way. If others perceive you as being shy or introverted because they are unable to hear you, then learn to speak at a normal volume level and let the world hear your confidence and assuredness.
For more information on volume, check out my video on Volume Control.