One of the most obvious changes that comes with ageing is that people start doing things more slowly. Numerous studies have shown that ageing also affects language processing. Even neurologically healthy people speak, retrieve words and read more slowly as they get older.
Their study indicates that older adults’ occasional difficulties in following conversation may arise from simple background noise and mile-a-minute talkers — not failing hearing, which affects fewer than 40 percent of those over age 75. WALTHAM, Mass.
For example, older adults produce less fluent and less complex speech in comparison with younger adults (Kemper et al., 2003).
It’s admirable to care about what you say, but if you speak too slowly, you may be perceived as boring, tired, or less intelligent than you are. To keep people awake and interested, learn to increase your speaking speech without losing articulation and thought clarity.
Normal aging causes many changes to occur that can affect speech. As we age, our muscles become weaker, and this includes muscles in the throat and jaw. Along with this, there can be glandular and tissue changes. All of these factors combined can change our speech processes as we age.
Our results showed that older adults (mean age 58 years old, range 50–73 years) read significantly slower (by 30%) compared to our young adults (mean age 23 years old, range 18–31 years).
Overall, the study found, the ideal manner of speech is not too fast but not too slow, not overly animated, and punctuated with frequent, short pauses. A speed of about 3.5 words per second was considered ideal. Slower or faster speakers weren’t as effective at getting people to listen to their pitch.
The problem with speaking at a pace that’s either too fast or too slow is that it interferes with communication. When you speak too slowly, your listener has too much time for processing, and the mind either locks on how irritatingly slowly you’re speaking or wanders off to more interesting things.
Speed Talking Tips
Many researchers have shown that speech recognition declines with increasing age. Some of the age-related decline in speech perception can be accounted for by peripheral sensory problems but cognitive aging can also be a contributing factor.
After puberty, most people’s voices remain more or less the same for about 50 years. But we all use our voices differently, and eventually we experience the symptoms associated with aging larynxes, known as presbyphonia. The folds’ increased mass slows their vibrations, resulting in deeper voices.
The most common cause of a voice change later in life is aging of the voice box and the respiratory system that powers the voice. Aging may bring a loss of flexibility. The joints of the larynx may become stiff, and its cartilage may calcify.