People Ask Me to Repeat Myself




That can be very frustrating for both you and your conversational partners because nobody like talking or listening to be hard work. The following three problem areas may contain the solution to solving the snags in your speech patterns. Try practicing them as often as possible. If you really want to know if other people can hear and understand you, then tape record your voice and see if you can understand yourself.


Are you dropping your volume at the end of your sentences? It is normal to soften you volume at the end of a thought, but don’t trail your sentences into oblivion. Practice speaking or reading aloud with conscious attention on lessening the decibel drop. Use these practice sentences:

– “Let’s meet in the lobby of the downtown Marriott.”
– “Sarah James was finally promoted to regional manager.”

In these examples, if you don’t keep your volume up, you’ll be swallowing you main point.

If volume is not the problem, are you jumbling words together? Some degree assimilation, or blending sounds and words together, is normal in conversational speech. An example of assimilation is the phrase, “Wow are you?” The o w sound at the end of h o w naturally blends into the a in a r e, so the phrase sounds more like “Hower you?”

You can find out if you tend to jumble your words by listening to a five-minute sample of a telephone call or conversation you have taped. If possible, ask someone to listen with you to provide objective feedback. Note any words or phrases that were difficult to understand. Pay particular attention to long words, names, and ends of sentences. If you are jumbling more than twice a minute, here is a starter list of words and phrases that are frequently assimilated. Practice saying them incorrectly; then correctly for contrast.

cancha – can’t you
cudja – could you
generly – generally
havta – have to
howzitgon – how’s it going
I dunno – I don’t know
probly – probably
shuda – should have
uzhly – usually
wanna – want to
wuncha – wouldn’t you

Another possibility: Are you moving your mouth enough?