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Author Message
Andy Glew
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 7:45 pm
 
BRIEF:
======

I'm looking for any advice on how to learn to speak
more quietly, ranging from speech therapy through
hypnosis through technical props like earphones
that amplify my voice back to my ears but not to others.

DETAIL:
=======

I talk too loud. When I talk, I disturb my coworkers.

(Heck, some of my coworkers have asked me to quiet down
my typing, which is also very loud.)

I have been loud my entire working career, both in
my first job in a hardwall office 1985-1991,
and through several years at cubicles at Intel,
1991-1996. After a break back at grad school, 1996-2000,
where I shared an office (apparently without disturbing
my offfice mate too much) I apparently returned to work
at Intel even louder, prompting complaints from one
of my cubicle neighbours. Since I came to AMD my
loudness problem has been worse, prompting half-muttered
threats of firing me if I don't reform myself.
Firing is probably not that serious a threat,
but I think that it is fair to say that my loudness
is negatively impacting my work, and my coworkers.

I would love to learn how to speak more quietly.
Biggest reason: it is just plain rude for me to
disturb other people. But try as I might,
I have not been successful in doing learning
to speak more quietly.
Even when I adjourn any cubicle meetings
to conference rooms, I still get complaints.

Worse: I try to practice "pair programming" as in
XP, eXtreme Programming. This doesn't help my
loudness problem.

Deep Background: I've been loud for years. I'm from a
loud family: my father was quiet, acoustic engineering
being one of his specialties, but he once measured
our breakfast table conversation and found in approached
the Concorde taking off. During Basic Military Training,
many years ago, I was my unit's "caller", and was once
requested to call more quietly (on a day when my unit
was having trouble staying together) by a unit across
an airfield.

Possibly related: one of my best friends is hearing impaired.
He does not sign, but relies on lip reading and people
speaking loudly. Probably talking to him has trained me
to talk louder and louder, although I must admit that it
was a problem before. (In fact, the fact that I talk
loudly is possibly one of the reasons we are friends.)

Seeking help
============

I would appreciate any advice people may have
with regards to learning to be quieter.
Some possibilities:

Hearing Problem?
----------------

* It is possible that I have some sort of hearing
loss. Certainly, right now I feel that my ears are
"plugged up" and I have a ringing in my ears.
But that may just be psychosomatic. In the past
I have had hearing tests that indicated no problem;
I will be retested soon.

* If I have such a hearing problem it might
not be constant throughout the day, but only at a
particular time. Most complaints occur about midafternoon.
I have allergies, etc.

Assuuming that the near future hearing test reports
no problem, as all previous tests, is there anything
else I should be looking at?

Therapy?
--------

Barring a medical cause such as hearing loss,
it may just be a behavioural problem.
I *should* be able to control my behaviour,
but since it is not working, I'm willing to
try other approaches. I seek advice or references.

For example:

* My boss has suggested psychotherapy.

* Speech therapy?

* Hypnosis - could I be hypnotized to speak
more quietly?

I have been googling looking for psycho-, speech-
or hypno- therapists that might have some special
background with this sort of "loudness" problem.
Haven't had much luck.

Technical Fixes?
----------------

I have also imagined technical fixes. For example,
I can imagine weraing a set of earphones and a microphone
that amplifies my voice back to my own ears, but
not to others. I am considering building my own,
but it occurred to me that, if others have such a
loudness problem, that possibly such products are
already available. Seeking references - googling has
not produced much luck.

Similarly, it occurred to me that the folks on
rec.audio might have suggestions for such equipment.

Job Change
----------

Finally, changing jobs to a situation where my talking
in cubicles is not a problem is a possibility.
But, nevertheless, if I do so I am going to continue
to try to explore one of the other possibilities
noted above. It is silly to have "loud voice"
be career limiting.


Email me:
=========

Please send email to andy.glewNOSPAM@amd.com,
or andy-glew-publicNOSPAM@sbcglobal.net
as well as posting reply to these newsgroups
 
Rachelle Moore
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:13 pm
 
Being andy.glew@amd.com (Andy Glew) on or about 8 Dec 2003 16:45:19
-0800 did post or cause to be posted in sci.psychology.psychotherapy
<2cfd1a4e.0312081645.1017ecac@posting.google.com>:

[quote:7d215daee7]BRIEF:
======

I'm looking for any advice on how to learn to speak
more quietly, ranging from speech therapy through
hypnosis through technical props like earphones
that amplify my voice back to my ears but not to others.
[/quote:7d215daee7]
Dear Andy,
You might try a google search on "voice disorder" and "loudness."

Here's one to start:
http://www.unc.edu/~chooper/classes/voice/webtherapy/hygiene/child/2002/Signs_Symptoms.html

It appears that a speech-language pathologist and/or an
otolaryngologist (Ear-Nose-Throat specialist) would probably be able
to pretty directly point you toward more useful help.

Good luck.
-
Rachelle

[Disclaimer: I am an independent multidisciplinary researcher (read:
"poet"). I frequently frame utterances with the sole purpose of
discerning factors of communication, including human ones, which
establish, maintain, and transform contexts of communication. No
representation is made that either my experience or the contents of
this post possesses or encompasses demonstrable skill, knowledge,
competence, or authority in any area. The reader is hereby informed
that any such attribution is in fact probably mistaken, and, further,
is in fact made at the sole discretion of the reader. These areas
include but are not limited to: the professions, the academic
disciplines, particular belief-systems (organized and unorganized, of
any nature, kind or type), and particular philosophies, traditions,
practices, fields, specialties, and specialized skill-sets. The sole
exceptions to this disclaimer are utterances on my part that plainly,
simply, and precisely state otherwise.]
 
Carey Gregory
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 8:13 pm
 
andy.glew@amd.com (Andy Glew) wrote:

[quote:cbabac0650]BRIEF:
======

I'm looking for any advice on how to learn to speak
more quietly, ranging from speech therapy through
hypnosis through technical props like earphones
that amplify my voice back to my ears but not to others.

DETAIL:
=======

[snip]
[/quote:cbabac0650]
Once you've ruled out hearing problems, I would suggest seeing a speech
therapist, or perhaps even hiring a voice coach from a university drama
department or local theatre group. It's like any habit: changing it is
easy once you're aware of it, but becoming aware is the hard part. You need
someone who can help you do that.
 
Emma Chase VanCott
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:32 pm
 
As I understand it, hearing-impaired people don't need you to be _louder_,
they need you to speak in lower ranges (e.g. more bass).


Emma
 
Carey Gregory
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:03 pm
 
Emma Chase VanCott <nospam7elc@qlink.queensu.ca> wrote:

[quote:0f3d288dde]As I understand it, hearing-impaired people don't need you to be _louder_,
they need you to speak in lower ranges (e.g. more bass).
[/quote:0f3d288dde]
Wouldn't that depend on the nature of their hearing loss? Some people lose
hearing in certain frequency ranges while others lose it across the board.
I would think that in the latter case speaking in lower tones wouldn't help.
 
 
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