Why You Mumble (and Why You Need to Stop!)

In Part 1 of this series, The Public Speaker explains why we learn to mumble at a young age, and why we need to articulate and enunciate our words in ordeer to succeed.

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #219

The Public Speaker reader, James, wrote to me saying, “I habitually mumble.  People regularly ask me to repeat myself.  I need your help to stop mumbling!  It’s killing my credibility.”


Most of us do it without even knowing it. Sometimes we even do it on purpose. However, mumbling is a bad habit, particularly in a professional or educational environment. As James mentions, you can instantly lose credibility when you don’t speak clearly and plainly.


Today we’re going to talk about the reasons people mumble and in the second part of this mini-series I’ll talk about techniques you can employ to stop mumbling and be heard.

In my house, I often find myself saying to my daughters, “Can you please repeat that slowly and clearly so that I can understand you?”  Although it bothers me that I have to keep reminding my children to enunciate, I can think of 5 good reasons why my girls sometimes mumble. I think you’ll be able to relate to these reasons too!


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.