Aren't there specialists in voice moderation for adults?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I "think" I read some years ago that people with odd voices could visit someone who helped them moderate their communication for improved success. One of my 50 something easy child's has a caring friend who speaks too loudly AND is lacking the awareness of the problem. I admire her for her tenacity & survival strengths as she came from a very odd family and managed to get her teaching degree in her 40's. For years she cleaned offices at night etc. etc. to get by as she has no family. She also raised a PCish son alone and he became a difficult child in his very early 20's and took off with-o a backward glance. Sigh!

    When she calls me (usually once a year) I do not pick up the phone and then call her back when I have an hour and am prepared to listen with the receiver held away from my ear. To her, I am the perfect Mother she always wanted to have.
    Yesterday I called her and once again she is having difficulty with the Principal of the school where she teaches Special Education. In my heart I "know" that she has no idea that she "overwhelms" with her loud and far too bubbly conversation. She is adhd for sure but the performance of her students is always above average and her students react positively to her style BUT she has moved from school to school to school is the five years she has been teaching.

    I have never commented on her voice or social interaction. Yesterday, however, I was tempted to suggest that she find a voice coach. I have no idea what they are called, where they are found etc. I fear she will not be renewed again and I think it is because of her voice/social skill deficit. What I "almost" suggested was that she make an appointment with the Spec. Ed County office and see if they have a suggestion. I wimped out because I'm not sure what that help is called. Does anyone know? DDD

    PS: She told me that she personally arranged for a 30 year Spec. Ed teacher to visit her classroom for an entire day and critique her skills. The woman told her she was remarkable..that in all her decades she had never seen low IQ students with spectrum issues show such affection/respect for a teacher. Geez.
  2. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I had a similar issues come up with person at work years ago, she was great worker but phone voice would make me cringe. (very high pitch and loud)

    Not sure if this would work for you but what I did was got her to leave a bunch of info (catalog sale) on a voicemail at my house then listened to that voicemail at work, writing down the orders on my lunch hour. She noticed the receiver laying on my desk but acting like a speaker phone, yes she was that loud.

    When she heard her voice her eyes got big and response was "OMG do I really sound like that on the phone?" After that she did make an effort to soften her tone (got rid of the squeek) and not be so loud. It improved life for her co workers and our clients.

    With a Special Education teacher I would tape record an IEP meeting and figure out a way to get her to listen to tape, like playing a select part of it and asking about if that service etc. was what she was referring to. Often unless they hear it they are clueless to what it sounds like on the other end.

    Another woman I went to college with took a course at Spec Howards (broadcasting school) to help fix her voice. She was going into a profession where speaking voice was important and growing up in Detroit was speaking (probably spelling it wrong) ebonics. Hope there is something in here that helps.

  3. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    A speech therapist might be able to help. My baby boy had SUCH a loud voice when he was a small child - he was always on outdoor voice mode. He had no hearing issues and is actually the only one of my boys who never had chronic ear infections or tubes. A speech therapist worked with him and he's now no more loud than a normal almost 15 year old.

    If you were closer to her, you could go with her to a Toastmasters group. Watching others speak publicly and having to do it yourself might help her to modulate. If this was a recent development, I would suggest the possibility of a hearing loss but it seems that she has always been a Loud Lisa.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    She can look for a voice coach for help. An area university should be able to help you find one. Look for a speech pathology/audiology dept. You may get results by calling the department secretary and asking of one of the professors or grad students works as a voice coach occasionally. If the secretary says no, or does not know, ask who you could contact who might have the info. You can also contact the drama/theater dept as they do a LOT of work with how you sound and how your voice works.

    Please urge her to have a COMPLETE audiological exam rather than just seeing someone to help iwth volume issues. This can be a sign of problems with hearing etc... Generally we are aware of this issue with-o thinking abut it, and being this oblivious to the issue may be a sign that something isn't working properly. She would need an audiologist for this.

    One thing that can help if you are with her is going to sound odd, but it works. My father projects his voice very very well. It isn't so much the volume of his voice but the way he projects it. Forhim it is a side effect of years of teaching, but it was truly obnoxious to grow up with. My mom and I started very very quietly saying "sssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" when he was projecting too much or when he was just too loud. It was incredible because he did not hear us but he softened his voice.

    I read about this in a psychology article and apparently it is a human thing, not just a 'my dad thing'. I tried it on city buses, with my kids at every age, with my husband (who also projects with-o realizing it), and in many other situations/places. It works the vast majority of the time, at least in my experience.

    This is NOT done in a way that the people with you notice. You say it super super quietly, like the snarky comments you didn't want the principal to hear when you got into trouble at school, Know what I mean?? Don't let your lips move much either, just make the sound as quietly as you can and see what happens.

    Of course it doesn't help your friend with this problem. You still need to discuss it with her because it is probably having a negative effect on her life. Loving friends speak up if something is a problem that isn't realized. I hope she understands how much you love and respect her and how you only want to help.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input. She does not live near me (thank goodness, lol) but she does live in a City with a University. As I recall she always spoke louder than normal and took pride in being "friendly and extroverted" although she herself only had two friends. I'm not sure if it appears more pronounced to me than others. I imagine that teaching special needs children in a portable classroom she is quite isolated. Perhaps the students relate to her because of her
    gregariousness. Anyway I'll mull over recommending she reach out.
    As always, you guys are so helpful. DDD
  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I taught for more than 35 years. I also tend to speak a tad on the loud side and to repeat myself often. My family ribs me about it frequently. I think I would benefit from a voice modulation program.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes! Voice coach for singing, or broadcasting, or speech pathology, all great ideas. You are a great friend and she is a valuable asset and has no idea how her voice is holding her back.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Unless she wants to do something about it, I wouldn't say anything to her. I doubt her insurance would cover it.