By Jack Sharkey, September 6, 2013

I hate the sound of my own voice. You probably do too (I mean hate the sound of your own voice). Here's why...


In my head, my voice is refined, deep, interesting, mellifluous–I should be voicing movie trailers my voice is so excellent.


Out in the air, or on my away message, or on those horrible family videos I have to appear in from time-to-time, my voice is horrible: Nasally, several registers higher than what it should be, and unrefined. It makes me actually feel sorry for the people who have to listen to me on a regular basis.


The fault lies not so much in how our voices sound, but in how our heads transmit the sound of our voice to our ears. Believe it or not, reflections play a role. When we speak, the sound travels out of our mouths and around to our ears. At the same time, vibrations from our voices travel up our jawbones, into our skulls, and then into our ears. The mixture of these two distinct vibrations (one in the air and one in our bones) is what makes me think I should be doing movie trailers.


Check out this cool little video from vocal coach Chris Beatty on how to hear yourself how others hear you. I took two pads of note paper with me to our conference room (which was empty today) and stood there holding the notepads to my head while counting to ten. Not only was I disappointed to hear myself, I was also pretty nervous someone would hear me counting to myself with pads of paper held up to my head (even though they would’ve heard me in the same voice they always hear).


Used by permission.