I'm 20 years old. As time has gone on, my speech has gradually worsened. People tell me I mumble a lot and it's hard to understand me. I also have gotten worse at converting my thoughts into verbal form. Because of this, I'm apprehensive and very bad at making conversation because I will always end up sounding like an idiot. Therefore, I keep my sentences short and simple and don't say much. Not communicating very much has fed my speech problems and really hurt my social skills and my self-esteem, so I've decided to finally try to do something about it so I can feel comfortable making conversation with people.
After listening to recordings of my speech and watching myself speak on video and in a mirror, I definitely noticed that I don't speak with very good articulation. To summarize what I have noticed about my speech:
1) I hardly move my lips while speaking. I'm almost positive this is the cause of my slurring of words/mumbling.
2) I am "tongue-tied" (ankyloglossia). I'm still unsure as to whether or not this affects my speech. I think it causes me to keep my mouth almost-closed so that my short-reaching tongue can reach the roof of my mouth and the back of my gums while speaking, which maybe factors into my lips not moving very much. It also causes me to move my jaw forward sometimes when speaking, which causes me to mess up my speech. Would frenuloplasty be of any benefit for me? I've attached a photo to show you the location of my frenulum.
3) Very often, my brain races ahead of where my mouth is. So I'll say a word or sound that belongs later in the sentence too soon. This causes me to panic and break my train of thought. I do this while reading aloud as well.
4) More often, I will talk myself into dead ends where I can't think of the proper way to express the concept or idea on my mind. I will stall for a very long time until I (hopefully) can think of some awkwardly-phrased words to end the sentence. Or I will forget how to express something in simple terms and have to use some big word that sounds strange in ordinary conversation. When I'm typing, the same stalling thing happens, but I just delete the sentence and start over. I feel like I wasn't like this until the last 4-5 years. I think it has something to do with my mind trying to use large, complicated words by default instead of normal, simple words.
EXAMPLE OF #4: Right now, when I was trying to explain how my tongue might affect my speech, I was trying to explain how my tongue keeps my mouth almost-closed, and it took me a solid two minutes to type the word "almost-closed," which I still have no idea if it's a word or not. I feel like I have gaps in my brain where my basic communicative vocabulary used to be stored.
So what can I do to improve my speech? I am sick of being the guy that people try to avoid because conversation always turns awkward, because I am a genuinely interesting person that simply can't formulate thoughts into speech correctly, and even when I can, it's not very articulate all the time.