Have you recorded your voice before and listened back to it? What did you think?
Now, if you are like most people, you would say, “Is that really me?Gosh, my voice sounds awful!” The reason being, we hear ourselves different to how others hear us, when listening to our recorded voice. Why is that so?
The answer lies within the way we produce sound, and how we hear our speech.
Sound is produced when air passes through vocal cords, and causes them to vibrate. The frequency of vibration and the length of vocal cords determine our pitch. The sound is then shaped into speech when it passes through our oral and nasal cavities. And viola, our voice appears!
Interesting fact, for females, our vocal cords vibrate about 200 times per minute, and for males, it vibrates about 80- 130 times per minute. Hence males sound deeper than females.
When we hear our own voice, we hear it through bone and air conduction, meaning the voice vibrates through our inner ear, as well as our skull, which lowers our pitch. This then gives us the impression our voice is lower in pitch than it is in reality.
When we hear a recorded version of our speech, we only hear the air-conducted sound. This version is how everyone else hears us, and this is often perceived as higher pitched and sometimes slower.
Here are 3 things you can do if you are unhappy with the way you sound, when recorded or not:) 🙂
1 ) Identify what you dislike about your voice. Describe your voice as if you were describing a person, and use adjective. Some words that my clients have used to describe their voices are: whiney, nasal, monotonous, not confident, flat etc. Awareness is the most important step to change.
2) Breathing: You will be surprised how simple breathing exercises could enhance the quality and tone of your voice. Breathing from your diaphragm significantly relaxes your vocal tract and improves the smoothness of your speech. It gives you the nice resonance that you need in your voice.
3) Voice warm-up exercises: Just like how you would warm up your muscles at the gym prior to a workout, one specific exercise to help with reducing nasal speech sounds is : Yawn Sigh.
Attempt the most authentic yawn you can imagine. Open your mouth wide and yawn as ‘deeply’ as you can. Stretch your arms out as you would do in the morning, to help you yawn better. As you exhale, sigh ‘ahh’ for about 3-5 seconds. Your throat should feel relaxed and open. Do this about 10 times, with attention to the relaxed, open-throat feeling. Watch me explain this on youtube.
If you do dislike your voice and can’t work out what you dislike about it, feel free to contact me for a quick chat!