One of the great myths we tell ourselves is that the voice we hear on our voicemail, answering machine, or some other type of recording equipment is not true. In fact, we tend to forget it after turning off the machine or stopping the tape. Rest assured that no matter how poor the quality of the equipment, what you hear on that recording is truer than what you hear in your head.
We do not hear ourselves as others hear us because our voice is vibrating in the solid and liquid of the brain. Our inner ear thus recognizes our voice from those vibrations. When I was a child, I would talk to my friends underwater and the sound would be muffled and garbled because it was sound traveling through a liquid – distorted sound. The way everyone else recognizes your voice, however, is due to sound traveling through air waves.
Most people believe that the pitch of their voice is deeper than it truly is. When they hear themselves on a recording, they are stunned not only because their voice is higher in pitch than they think but also because it may be whiny, nasal, throaty, hoarse, soft, loud, monotone, weak, wimpy or display a whole host of other ‘unpleasanties.’
[Note that the pitch of the voice refers to the highness or lowness of sound – not the volume which deals with loudness and softness. On your remote control for the TV, for example, you are either increasing or decreasing the volume, not the pitch.]
While my words, so far, may be disconcerting, the good news is that you have a better voice inside. Yes, you will have to break some habits and instill some new ones but it is definitely worth the effort. In the process, you will learn to breathe correctly. Don’t worry. You are in good company because the majority of the population is not breathing properly either. We are renowned for being lazy or shallow breathers which results in:
1. a thinner voice that is probably higher in pitch than it should be; and,
2. an increase in one’s stress level caused by upper chest breathing.
Once you are supporting your breath by means of your diaphragm, you will then learn to use your chest cavity to power your voice. Presently, you are using your voice box, throat, mouth and nasal cavities; however, these are only 4 of your 5 resonators. When you add your chest cavity to the picture, you will discover a richer, warmer, deeper, resonant sound. In fact, you could discover a truly magnificent speaking voice that is just waiting to come out.
You don’t have to live with the voice you hear on a recording. Discover your ‘real’ one and you will actually enjoy hearing yourself on your voicemail!
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The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and discover the best means of sounding more mature.
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