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Student creates device for speech aid

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2015-10-09 12:32

About the solution

Floyd was born with an articulation disorder. By the time he reached third grade, he said his impediment became more noticeable and affected his ability to be understood by people. From there, he began going to speech therapy and continued through high school. Although speech therapy was beneficial, he was still bullied and made fun of.

"It was hard growing up with a speech impediment," Floyd said. "I got bullied a lot in middle school and high school by other people saying that I talk funny, imitating the way I sound. "Although it wasn't easy to cope with, it did motivate me to keep going," he added.

Despite constant bullying and regularly attending speech therapy, Floyd still looked for other ways to enhance his speaking skills. However he was surprised to learn that there was little to nothing available in the marketplace to aid him in overcoming his speech impediment.

But what really inspired this student to build the SpeechMasterPro, when he was a junior in high school, was the film “The Great Debaters”. His "a-ha" moment came after watching one particular scene when Denzel Washington's character had his debate team practice for their debate with a radish held in-between their teeth to promote clearer speech. This unconventional technique inspired Floyd.

"That's when the idea hit me," he said. "After seeing the movie, I went to the kitchen to see if I could find a radish, I couldn't find one, but I did find a wine cork," Floyd continued. "So I practiced by putting the wine cork in my mouth, and it was just as beneficial as the radish in the movie to enhance my speech."

He began collecting wine corks from area restaurants as prototypes, reshaping them like a whistle so it could rest naturally between the upper front teeth.
"I tested this (cork prototype) by letting friends and neighbors practice using it," he said. "I got a lot of positive feedback."

Floyd practices with SpeechMasterPro every morning for a minimum of 15 minutes. He particularly uses the device while going over material before giving a speaking engagement.

"The mornings are the best time to practice when your mouth is a little stiff, it helps loosen facial muscles," Floyd explained.

He has currently sold several dozen speech aids which can be purchased online at speechmasterpro.com for $19.95. A utility patent for this product is still pending.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/1A5JAeg

More info: http://speechmasterpro.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5fqiTnZUHY

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Daniel Floyd, born in 1995, in USA, is a Western Michigan University student who struggles with having a speech impediment. Because of that, he invented the SpeechMasterPro, a universal speaking device designed to help improve enunciation skills, slow down speaking pace, and build confidence in public speaking.

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