When talking about the subject of speaking there are two aspects that we must take into consideration. There are things that are within our control and things that cannot be controlled at all. For instance, if you are short and not very heavy you probably don’t have as large and powerful of vocal chords as a seven foot tall man that weighs 350 pounds. This shouldn’t really matter because in 99% of situations it’s not how loudly you can speak but rather how clearly and effectively you are able to convey what you are saying.
Through the proper control of your voice you can get your point across better than someone that has a much louder voice.
To speak more clearly you must first use proper posture. Be sure to stand upright and do not slouch while you talking. While this is great for helping you speak more clearly it also serves another purpose. Displaying good posture as you speak shows that you are confident in what you say. When you maintain good posture throughout your speaking you are showing that you care about what it is that you are saying and through doing so your listener will pay more attention.
If you have been asked to repeat yourself repeatedly it is likely because you are not speaking clearly. The best solution to this problem is to over enunciate. Speak each syllable separately but without taking a breath in between. Make sure that when you pronounce each syllable you do so with an open mouth.
My old choir director would always make us over enunciate when singing songs in a language other than English. Some of them were ridiculous looking and involving placing our fists on the outside of our faces in between our jaw and cheek bones. The purpose of this exercise was to make sure that we were keeping our mouths nice and wide while singing Latin songs filled with hard to pronounce words.
When speaking to someone make sure to look them in the eye. While this doesn’t directly affect how you speak, it will make you more speak more confidently and clearly. It’s a lot harder to mumble when you have your eyes locked with someone else.
Tips to Prevent Mumbling
Vary the volume of your speech. This is good practice for getting the point across in public speaking but it also makes you more conscious of how you are speaking.
Take a deep breath before you speak. One of the main causes of mumbling is a lack of air. Repeat this next sentence out loud after exhaling completely. “I definitely would have walked my dog had it not been for this torrential rainfall”. Yeah, it’s really hard to do especially without mumbling. Now take a deep breath and over pronounce each syllable. Notice how much clearer you sound?
To put things simply, speaking more clearly requires a conscious effort. There is not tip out there that you can just read once that will make you speak more clearly overnight. You must continuously think of what you have learned in order to put it into practice. Only after you practice correctly for a while will it come naturally to you.