Daniel Floyd was born with a speech disorder that made it difficult for him to enunciate certain words and sounds. This challenge led the Western Michigan University sophomore to design SpeechMasterPro, a device that assists individuals with speech impediments, as well as others who want to improve articulation and enunciation.
SpeechMasterPro is placed inside the mouth and is held by the user’s teeth. By trying to avoid touching the device with the lips while speaking, the jaw and facial muscles are strengthened, which results in improved speech. According to its website, The SpeechMasterPro helps the user become a clear, effective speaker by:
• Improving enunciation skills
• Slowing down speaking pace
• Strengthening facial and tongue muscles
• Helping build confidence
“My ambition,” says Floyd, “was driven by a desire to help others and myself with an instrument to improve enunciation and confidence in speaking fluently.”
He says he developed the speech aid after watching the 2007 movie, The Great Debaters, in which the film’s director and star, Denzel Washington, works with five students to improve their debating techniques.
Floyd is now working with a Chicago design firm to develop a version of the SpeechMasterPro that can be mass produced, as well as a manufacturer that has agreed to fabricate several Food and Drug Administration approved silicone prototypes. speechmasterpro.com