Anyway, with my renewed self esteem and my regular levels of positivity fully restored I've decided to write a series of posts about my experiences so far living with braces, the adjustments you make, maintenance & cleaning, the difficulties, the funny times, the good times etc and it will be entitled The Joy of Braces. So here is number 1!
The Joy of Braces - Speaking
Speaking with braces is something that I have had to get used to, not just once, but many, many times over. As my teeth move it adjusts my bite, my mouth shape and size, where my tongue goes, how my lips move, where my lips sit, how they form certain words or sounds, any sore spots or ulcers/cancer sores also affect all of the above.
Now I do have to say I probably notice this much more than anybody else does. needless to say it can be frustrating and quite tedious at times having to re-think how to move your mouth and pronounce certain words or sounds over and over again.
I had lots of fun with this on Monday and Tuesday, I held an International Distributor conference on the 8th and 9th of this month. We had distributors from all over the world attend and for many of them English wasn't their first language, I had to do several public speeches and discuss my work and hold discussion sessions.
I'm quite a confident public speaker really, but at times my braces get the better of me and I can sound a bit lispy and fumble through certain sounds. I was conscious that some of my visitors would struggle to understand me so I took my time, spoke slowly and most importantly I practised my speech beforehand and went over the words or sounds that I stumbled on. In the end I was fine, I felt much more relaxed because I had practised and I felt much more confident about pronouncing certain sounds than before.
My top tip is to speak slowly, when presenting people often speak quickly without even realising it. It must be a sub-conscious thing of " Oh my god, get me off this stage, I'll speak quick then I can go" It makes it harder, you get tongue tide, flustered then before you know it your spitting everywhere and sound like daffy duck!
By breathing and slowing down what your saying, it gives us brace wearers a bit of extra time to get our mouths around the braces and the words!