Monday, April 28, 2008

I am...

...a...ahem...a loud talker.

I know, SHOCKER! I am sure Seinfeld would have a hey-day with me and my extra-loud voice. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in conversation with me knows this is true. It's true and for the most part, I am okay with it being true and I am okay with people telling me.

And yes, it has been brought to my attention on several occasions, by a variety of people. In fact, at work, where I have my own office, a coworker once came and shut my door while I was on the phone with a donor because I was talking so loud. Ouch.

And, on my work evaluation, a confidential 360 degree feedback - where everyone reviews everyone else - it came up that I should watch how loud I talk, especially on the phone, because coworkers in cube-land could hear both personal and professional conversations and, maybe, they were hearing too much. Ouch again.

I know I am a loud talker and yet, I don't notice it when I am talking. I don't think I am hard of hearing, I can hear other people just fine. I apparently don't have an internal monitor that tells me that my voice has gained several octaves and I am now blowing out the ear drums of everyone around me. Sorry everyone!

According to Beth, and my work evaluation, it gets even louder when I am on the phone. For some reason, whether on the phone or in face-to-face conversation, I am unsure if people can hear me, so I make sure to really project - go ahead and laugh, because you say, with a chuckle and a head shake, OF COURSE they can hear me, anyone in a five block radius can hear me!

Maybe in trying to project, I also increase the volume of my voice. Or, maybe it's just part of who I am. And really, I am okay with it, although I do get a little embarrassed when people call me out on it - but I am also thankful because I don't want people to not want to talk to me because I talk so loud.

Now, a booming voice does come in handy in public speaking, which I did a lot of for several years. And, it's good for dealing with really old people. Or talking in bars. But, beyond that, I really do need to learn to turn it down a couple of notches, especially in face to face conversation.

And I try, I really do. It's just I don't pay attention to my voice enough to notice; talking, and our voices, are just so much a part of who we are, most of the time we talk without really noticing things like voice volume (or, maybe, that is just me!).

When I do pay attention, or when someone brings it to my attention, I can control my volume and I can then tell the difference between my really loud voice and my softer, more quiet voice. But, it's so unconscious I usually don't notice until someone brings it to my attention.

Case in point: Sunday evening, Beth and I traveled out to Buckeye to visit with a consultant friend of Beth's and this woman's husband. The four of us, along with the consultant friend's cousin and her husband, went to hear the Phoenix Symphony play an outdoor concert at the community center on a lake. It was a beautiful setting.

Before the Phoenix Symphony played, there was a youth symphony of sixth to twelfth graders who performed. As they played, I got into a really nice conversation groove with our group.

The next thing I know, I am getting a tap-tap-tap on my shoulder. I turn around and nice gentleman says to me, "Can you please quiet down? My son is playing in the concert and I hear you and your conversation more than I hear my son."


Talk about a kick in the gut! I felt awful!

Of course, I apologized profusely, I mean, I know I have a problem. I sheepishly went back to my conversation, telling the group what he had said and that it was okay because I know I have a very loud voice. I immediately quieted my conversation and even apologized to the gentleman again - I mean, he was really nice about it and I completely understood.

But still...ouch...

(It's okay to laugh by the way, it is actually quite funny!) LOL!


  1. Can't wait to see what we are like when we are 90... you talking loud as ever and me mumbling with my fake teeth.... nice!

  2. It's a good thing that we communicate primarily through Instant Message, but then, maybe you type too loud as well?

  3. This is hilarious.

    Maybe Honey Bear's was loud, or I am just as loud as you, but I didn't notice at all.

    Maybe southern BBQ has a deafening effect...

  4. this happens to lauren, too, after a shift at work. She has a tough time turning it down ... and eventually i have to say something, otherwise i feel like i'm being yelled at.

    this definitely happens to me, too, though. It happened most recently when we went to monroe junior high to see her nephew play in a jazz recital ... lauren had to quiet me down.

  5. You went back to Monroe Junior High?

    I think I would have nam-like flashbacks if I did that. Good for you brave soul, good for you!