Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

A mumble that won't go away

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 8 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 21, 2007
  • 00:44 AM

I know this sounds pretty mundane, but there is a terrible mumble to my voice that is an incredible detriment to my social and professional life. No matter how hard I try to communicate clearly, I usually have to repeat what I say because it's so slurred or indesipherable. I get very stressed and withdrawn as a result.

My speaking voice isn't always like this; it seems to vary with my emotional state. When I am excited or when I discuss things that interest me, my voice is just the opposite - as clear and malifluous as a professional orator! But once the ardor dies down, so does my voice's clarity.

I have no idea what to do. I was once a classically trained baritone (ironically, I wasn't too bad), so I'm pretty familiar with ways to improve my diction and enunciation (full vowels, crisp consonants, loose jaw, etc.), but focusing on speech technique always burns me out when I try to talk with people, and I always end up lapsing into a mumble in a short while. I haven't achieved any long term success in getting a clearer speaking voice. So is speech therapy out of the question or not? I'm pretty damned confused at this point, and would appreciate some advice.

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8 Replies:

  • my deepest sympathy,as an ex stammerer.i dont really have any good advice for you but your post looked so forlorn,all on its own.i was tempted to say-"stay excited,then!"but that is obviously impractical.i often think "to ***l with smalltalk!"anyway.how much better off would we be if we only spoke to convey something we really cared about.i have a theory.i call it my circus rider theory.what are the chances that a child born to a circus family will just as an accident of nature ,be born with the ability to ride a horse standing on its bare back,at an age at which other kids can barely walk?it is a matter of practice of course.there are very few skill deficits which will not respond to thousands of hours of practice .thats how i taught my wife to drive.it took twenty thousand miles,but she passed her test first time after the application of the circus rider theory.you need to find or contrive a context in which many,many short ,unemotional conversations will be required of you.i cured my stammer partly by hitchhiking,as a young man.think about it-if someone gives you a lift ,you are morally obliged to be good company,but if it all goes pear shaped,no matter!you are out in a hour,and theres the next lift,and a new chance to practice!you must find,devise or invent your arena of practice as i did at age eighteen!happy circus riding!and there was me thinking i didnt have a tactic to offer you !it would be nice if you kept me up to date with progress.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 01:29 PM
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  • i have the exact same problem. I have trouble projecting my voice and speaking clearly. People struggle to hear me when there is background noise - such as in a restaurant, or on a train. Its extremely frustrating and humiliating and its effecting my social and professional life. I am/was about to get in touch with a speech therapist but your comments don't fill me with much confidence. I've always had a weak voice but I think its getting worse/more consistently bad. The weird thing is, on random occasions it'll be great for a few hours and i can speak clearly and concisely.Sorry i cant be of any help - but if you come across any useful information please share it with me, and of course I'll do the same for you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 01:13 PM
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  • hiya,its the ex stammerer man again.sorry to hear another person is suffering.there is a lovely ,sympathetic,scientific book which may help.(note that i say "may")it is called "the voice of neurosis"by paul moses.while it was not helpful to me personally,-ihad fixed my stammer by the time i came across it,-it has developed my understanding in ways i could not have anticipated,and it has helped me to help others.it is out of print unfortunately,so you will have to ask the library.i think there is only one copy in england!ask the librarian to get you one on inter library loan.the fact that your voice is o.k. sometimes strongly implies a personal rather than a mechanical problem;you do realise that, i hope.in my last post i suggested a crude method which is blessed with a high degree of success.granny psychology rules!by contrast the way of introspection is slow hard and difficult.and you may find yourself learning something about yourself you might prefer not to have learned.i urge you both -again -to find some contexts for practice,and do the simple work! try to devise a method whuch will be fun,otherwise you will not keep it up.good luck to you both.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 27, 2007
    • 07:16 PM
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  • i have the same problem. i mumble a lot, sometimes i still mumble despite my best efforts to enunciate (I could probably enunciate even more, but that would involve spitting on the very people i'm trying to talk to). it's certainly disconcerting as i'm in college and constantly meeting new people .. and well a lot of these people simply can't understand me. i'm absolutely dumbfounded as to what to do. right now, i have a temporary fix. i repeat whatever i say, disguising it as a repetition for emphasis (e.g. that's whack man, thaaat's WHACK)somebody recommended speech therapy to me once. apparently they train radio djs, radio advertisers and the like. is this true? could these speech therapists help me out?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 29, 2007
    • 07:03 AM
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  • you know my views.any structured practice has a good chance of improving matters.(i know a stammer is not the same exactly,but it is generally an intractable problem,and i do seem to have found a way.)speech therapy by all means,my only concern is transfer to other contexts.this is why i am so impressed with the use of the real social arena.,not just for speech,but for many behavioral difficulties.well done for finding your "repetition"technique,which seems to me to be quite creative,and which qualifies as a real world method. which the next step for you might well be practice in private ,use in public.speech theapist would be able to help with this i am sure!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 29, 2007
    • 09:35 AM
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  • ive got another idea about this for the repetition bloke,who seems to be half way there. will tomorrow do?it is a misery ,not being able to speak easily and freely.all my sympathy!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 29, 2007
    • 04:40 PM
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  • what i was thinking about was a development of what you are already doing.it may be worth trying to deemphasise your first attempt.....,progressively,until you can do it subvocally.then, allthat people will hear is the "second"----which will have become the first!people will think that you are considering your reply,which in a way you will be.one other thing which helped me was to learn and practice a variety of socially lubricant phrases,the sort of thing one says out of politeness a dozen times a day.......:"want a coffee?"..."more rain,eh?" ...."good to see you!"....."i am very well thank you!"....."how are you?"...."have a good weekend?"..." hows the garden ,these days?" this shouldbe thought of as an interim tactic.this is really playacting,and often effective for that reason.in fantasy, you see, it is not you doing it!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 1, 2007
    • 02:21 PM
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  • if you want me to continue to concern myself with this ,you will have to reply.just to be polite.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 3, 2007
    • 09:48 AM
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