Tips to Improve Speech Clarity in Adults
Improve Speech Clarity in Adults, Speaking clearly helps to convey our thoughts and ideas. Clear speech also helps in establishing social relationships. Speech clarity in adults can be affected by a number of conditions in adults, such as Dysarthria, Facial Paralysis or Paresis, Misarticulation, Weakness of Oral Structures, First Language influence, Hearing loss and also untreated childhood speech/language conditions.
Improve Speech Clarity in Adults
Clarity of speech becomes even more important in adulthood due to many other aspects. For instance, if a person’s speech is not clear it may affect his career, it may attract extra attention in social environments and that may make one feel uncomfortable and/ or embarrassing at times.
Expert help is a must to improve the speech clarity. Here are some of the tips that can be followed at home to improve the quality of speech.
Improve Speech Clarity in Adults
Make sure you have a good breath support:
Good breathing is essential to have good speech. Regular practice of breathing exercises has significant benefits on improving the speech clarity.
Take a deep breath and exhale slowly by stretching it as long as you can. Also, make sure that you take a deep breath before you start speaking.
Keep your mouth empty:
Excess saliva in mouth makes speech to be heard as wet or gurgly. Make sure you swallow saliva completely and keep your mouth empty.
Maintain good posture:
Stand/ sit straight, do not shrug your shoulders, avoid tension in neck region. This will directly impact the way you breath, making your breath shorter and can manifest as poor control over exhalation. This results in poor clarity of speech.
Make sure you say all sounds of a word:
Leaving out the sounds in a word/ phrase makes it difficult for others to understand you. Sometimes, the first and last sound of the word fades away making the speech sound poor. Therefore make sure, you make an attempt to say all the sounds in word/ phrase, even if you take a little extra time to speak.
Use shorter sentences:
When there is poor breath support and/ weakness of oral structures, speaking in sentences becomes hard. Use short phrases, focus more on content words thereby giving importance to the meaning conveyed in a message.
Maintaining the appropriate speed of talking is another essential part of maintaining good clarity of speech. So, slow down, say each word clearly. If you find it difficult speak slow, slightly tap your thigh (or tap thumb and index finger) and say a word i.e. one tap – one word is a good way of maintaining appropriate speed of talking.
Use a mirror:
Speak in front of a mirror, pay attention to the word you are saying, how your oral structures are moving, how your mouth appears when you say particular sounds/ words. Keep this in mind when you speak elsewhere.
Record and Play:
Record your own speech and play it back. Listen where you find it difficult to understand, which words were not clear or which words are heard fine/ different. Practice those words again, slow down if you were speaking too fast, increase your volume if you were speaking too soft. Monitor yourself.
Learn the ways of pronouncing each sound:
Speech Language therapy will focus on similar exercises and techniques to improve speech clarity. There are certain ways each sound should be articulated. Focusing attention to articulate sounds will significantly improve the speech clarity. Ask all your queries and for help with your speech therapist regularly.
Practice regularly and use techniques efficiently:
Training and/ or strengthening the muscle does not happen in a day or two. It requires regular practice for longer duration.
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Learnt techniques such as speaking out all words, taking good breath etc. need to be incorporated regularly while talking to make speech sound better.
Some alternate tricks to communicate effectively : –
Do not multitask: While talking, do not use phone or focus on some other work that you have to do. By dividing the attention, there are chances you may miss out on some of the techniques or sounds to articulate well.
Use good body language: Give good eye to eye contact, use appropriate gesture using hands, head nods or facial expression. These can substitute for the words you have uttered with poor clarity. When you give good eye to eye contact and speak confidently, people generally tend to ignore the clarity issues you have, rather they will focus on message you are conveying.
Say it out: Yes! When required, say it out that you have difficulty speaking or difficulty saying certain sounds that may sound different than others say. People will help you by paying good attention to your speech, try guessing the words as per speaking scenario (rather than simply asking you to repeat) or they may fill up the missing words in your speech. Saying it first will lessen your burden/ tension of what others will think, it may make your talk/ presentations go smooth.
As I have mentioned earlier, expert opinion and personalised intervention has greater impact on the clarity of speech. Practicing and following these techniques along with your regular speech therapy would give better results. Do consult us at the earliest and get greater benefits. Click here to contact us.
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