What Makes Your Speech Sound The Way It Does?

What Makes Your Speech Sound The Way It Does? | District Speech & Language Therapy | Washington D.C. & Northern VA

The way we speak can have a big impact on our lives.

Right or wrong, your accent, how fast you speak, and the way you pronounce words can impact the way you’re perceived by others.

Sometimes people will choose to undergo speech therapy in order to improve or correct certain aspects of speech, such as stuttering.

And actors often undergo training to speak in different accents for their various roles.

We’re District Speech and we offer speech therapy in Washington DC.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at a few aspects of speech and vocalization, which can help you to understand why you speak the way you do.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are The Different Aspects Of Vocalizations?

The factors which influence the way you speak are influenced by your background, experience, and cultural influences.

Let’s have a look at each of these aspects of vocalization.

1. Pronunciation

Pronunciation is how we make the sound of each letter in a word, and which syllable we place the emphasis on.

Although some words will spark debate as to their proper pronunciations (for instance is “gif” said with a soft g or a hard g), and some words are pronounced differently in different regions, generally speaking, you can look up proper pronunciation of words online fairly easily.

In many cases, mispronouncing words can detract from the speakers’ credibility, so if you’re unsure of a word, best to look it up.

2. Articulation

The way we form consonants and vowels is called articulation.

Other words for this concept are enunciation and diction.

When we say a word, we use our tongue, jaw, lips, and palate in order to make the sounds of speech.

Sometimes we’ll use different articulation in different settings, for instance in a formal meeting you might say “We are not going to meet the targets this year”, whereas if you are at home and need milk you may say “I’m just gonna pop out to the store”.

If you have an articulation disorder, it affects how you can articulate words.

These disorders can include cleft lip & cleft palate and tongue thrust

What affects the sound of your speech and how to control it | District Speech & Language Therapy | Washington D.C. & Northern VA

3. Projection

Projection relates to the volume of one’s voice.

Someone with good projection should be able to be heard easily, without the need to shout.

Good posture and proper breathing techniques can help with projection.

4. Pace/Tempo

Speaking too quickly, or too slowly, can have impacts on how your words are perceived, and striking the right balance is important for how you come across to others.

If the pace is too fast people may have difficulty understanding your words, you may come across as not taking things seriously, and your pronunciation could suffer as a result.

Conversely, speaking too slowly can be monotonous and boring for others to listen to.

Finding a comfortable rate of speech can help you get your point across.

5. Timbre

Timbre refers to sound quality or vocal quality.

If your voice comes across as scratchy, breathy, or soft these are all examples of vocal timbre.

Vocal exercises can be used to help you develop a clear timbre.

6. Placement Of Pauses

While. Speaking. With. Lots. Of. Pauses. May work for William Shatner, in general conversation this is usually ill advised.

Speaking in short concise sentences, with appropriate pauses can help others understand the point you are trying to make.

While longer sentences can work on the written page, phrases spoken aloud need to be shorter in order for people to digest your point.

It’s also important to avoid filler words, also called vocalized pauses, such as “uh” and “um” as they can distract from the overall message you are trying to convey.

7. Pitch

This refers to how high or low ones voice is.

Altering pitch can help convey meaning, for example, raising pitch to indicate a question or lowering of the voice for dramatic effect.

Speaking without altering pitch results in monotone speech, which is boring to listen too.

Book An Appointment With District Speech

Do you need to work on some aspect of your speech?

Perhaps you have a habit of using filler phrases such as “um” and “uh”.

Or you’ve been told you mumble when you speak, and to work on articulation.

District Speech can help you correct these and other speech and communication issues you might be facing.

Contact us today to learn more about all of the issues we can help with.

District Speech and Language Therapy
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005

- https://g.page/districtspeech

District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.