by Rynette R. Kjesbo, M.S., CCC-SLP
Volume is the loudness or softness of your voice. If someone is talking too loudly or too softly, it is difficult to concentrate on what he/she is saying. When you are talking to another person it is important to speak at an appropriate volume so that your listener can hear and understand your message. Use the steps below to help teach students how to use an appropriate volume. Have them read/repeat the self-talk statements that follow each one. Then have a discussion about volume. You can start the discussion with this question: What are some situations in which you had to adjust your volume level?
- Know the difference between a soft voice and a loud voice – Practice using soft and loud voices in order to learn how each one feels and sounds.
I will understand how to use soft and loud voices.
- Know your habit – Many people typically talk too softly or too loudly. If you are aware that you talk softly or loudly, you can adjust your volume to make it easier for a listener to hear you.
I will be aware of my usual volume.
- Consider your environment – The place where you are having a conversation affects how softly or loudly you need to talk. For example, if you are talking to someone in a library, you should use a softer volume than you would use at a football game.
I will decide how softly or loudly I need to speak by listening to the noise level of my surroundings.
- Look at the distance between you and your listener – If you are standing a couple of feet away from your listener, you can speak in a softer voice than if you are standing several yards away.
I will use a softer voice when my listener is close by and a louder voice when he/she is farther away.
- Recognize when you are excited about a topic – When we are excited about a subject, we tend to speak louder and quicker.
I will monitor my volume to make sure I do not speak too loudly when I am excited about a subject.
- Watch for nonverbal signals – Look for signals from your listener that you are speaking too softly or too loudly. For example, if your listener is leaning toward you or asks you to repeat yourself several times, your volume may be too soft. If your listener is backing away or covering his/her ears, you may be speaking too loudly.
I will watch my listener for hints that I am speaking too softly or too loudly.
- Adjust your volume – If you find that your volume is too soft or too loud, change it!
I will speak louder if I am speaking too softly.
I will speak softer if I am speaking too loudly.