The power of voice: 6 frequent voice errors

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On the subject of speech as a realization of language, the following are the most common phenomena used in seminars, workshops on Further training and of course in the corporate reality are always an issue, to be briefly presented.


Here writes for you:


Dr. Roland Forster Roland-forsterDr. Roland Forster is a lecturer at the University of Saarbrücken and communication trainer.


Dialect can also be an advantage

For example, dialect versus standard language is a well-known discussion and subject of frequent questions in seminars; one is demonized, the other highly praised. As so often the truth lies somewhere in the middle - the mixture is authoritative.

If a consultant works in an outspoken dialect region and maybe even comes from that area, it is certainly an advantage if you can hear that. Therefore, the same applies here: the topic is the extension of the range of competences. That a consultant speaks standard language, I assume as an employer.

A problem of syntax

Everyone has already had to listen to people who sound very eloquent, but one has hardly understood anything afterwards, and the whole thing can not be kept.

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The reason is often quite simply a syntax problem, the sentences are simply too long. This is often the result of the (hopefully unconscious) position: How do I know what I mean before I hear what I say?

The listening capacity is overstretched

A text by Heinrich von Kleist is titled: "On the Gradual Processing of Thoughts While Speaking". The result in these cases is always:

The listening capacity of the people, for whom a presentation is conceived or which sit at the table in a meeting, is overstrained.

It is about reducing complexity

There are investigations, according to which half of the listeners can no longer follow a sentence with more than 13 words.

With such overlong constructions, consultants, but also politicians and university lecturers, for example, violate an iron principle: In many cases, their work consists of reducing complexity - but not increasing it.

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Do my listeners understand me? 6 frequent voice errors

The consequence, however, is not to simply form shorter sentences and to work in a very small step, but should look like this: the comprehensibility of one's own utterances is constantly checked.

For example through intensive (eye) contact with the communication partners. On this basis, formulations can be adapted again and again.

1. volume

Those concerned have no perception of their own volume, are either too quiet or clearly too loud.

In the first case, they have great difficulties with presentations, for example, in large rooms or in front of many listeners. - Too loud, on the other hand, seems strange when the - few - participants in a negotiation sit together at a table.

2. nasality

Part of the speech production slips up to a certain extent, takes place in the nasal cavity, which then reminds of a voice in case of severe cold.

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This often sounds unpleasant, but it is more serious that vocal sound and thus effect (eg spatial effect) are lost or greatly impaired. Here it must be learned to (re) achieve the full vocal sound, which, for example, when telephoning has a high importance.

3. Sigmatismen

The so-called s-errors, ie deviations from the standard at / s / and / ss /. In most cases the tongue between the teeth and the back of the upper incisors is used.

In young children, the corresponding sound is often rated as 'cute', and it seems rather embarrassing to experienced company directors.

4. harsh speaking

The production takes place too far back in the pharynx - not in the throat, but the auditory impression suggests this; typical of many dialects, often leads to indistinct speech, is perceived as very withdrawn, demands are increasing.

5. lateral speech

Spoken is too much on the left or right, almost from the corners of the mouth. What everyone can try:

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If the tip of the tongue does not strike the gap between the upper incisors, but has some contact with them, the sound will sound different; often heard in pronounced dialect regions (Moselfränkisch).

6. dysphonia

Dysphonia is not uncommon. This means either too quiet, breathy, very weak speaking (hypofunctional), or exactly the opposite: 'the voice sounds very strained, scratchy, hoarse, rough, is often too loud, you can use the pressure with which you speak, often even see (hyperfunctional);

The latter can be heard, for example, by footballers, by teachers, by people who have to communicate in the open, or by people who suddenly have to talk to large groups in a new professional context.

In extreme cases, the voices are irreparably damaged by the physiologically incorrect use. By the way: In the Middle Ages this disease was called "preacher sore throat", today it is a well-known phenomenon in all speaking professions, and this includes consultants.

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