Have you ever spoken so that no one could understand you? Have you ever had someone ask you to repeat yourself over and over? I have. And it’s really annoying. If this has happened to you or someone you know, read this blog post. We have three strategies that will help you with this problem.

  1. Speak loud enough to hear (but not too loud). Speaking loud so that people can hear you is a good thing, but if you speak too loud it will just get annoying. Sometimes if there is a lot of background noise around you, it can get hard for people to hear you in conversation. Speak a little louder than you normally would, but don’t shout unless you have to (like when someone’s in trouble or you’re outside). Take a belly breath before you speak to help you speak loud enough. Pause and take another breath if you don’t have enough air to get through a whole sentence.

  2. Slow down when speaking. Sometimes you can start talking really fast when you get excited about something. It’s happened to me before. When you talk fast, people might have trouble understanding you. Pause, take a breath, and start over, slowing your speech down. It helps me to think of a turtle or another slow animal.

  3. Over-articulate (or, enunciate)! If you mumble, it might be hard for people to understand you. Instead, over-articulate, or enunciate. This means saying the sounds of your words very carefully. But don’t over-articulate so much that you sounds like Siri on an iPad or other device, just enough to sound natural and clear. It is especially important to over-articulate when you are saying new words, big words, or unfamiliar words (for example: names, book titles, songs, movies, places). Make sure to drink enough water, as it is hard to say your sounds clearly if your mouth is dry.

If you need help with your speech, try these three strategies. They just might help you!

Written By:
Kira Vandekeift, Age: 12, *with assistance from *

Megan Gross, M.S., CCC-SLP,
Speech Language Pathologist