5 Common Misconceptions about the Speaking Voice

Posted on Posted in Sound More Mature

It is fascinating to listen to others explain why they sound the way they do. I am sure that I have heard it all in my many years teaching voice improvement. What I have found, however, is that you have a better voice inside no matter how you hear yourself or how others recognize your sound.

The 5 most prevalent misconceptions about the voice are:

1. How you hear yourself is how everyone else hears your voice. This is not true. You do not have the ability to hear yourself as others hear you which is why you do not recognize yourself on your voicemail or some other type of recording equipment.

2. You are stuck with your voice the way it is. Thankfully, this is not true. Everyone has a better voice inside. If is just a matter of discovering it.

3. You sound the way you do because of your throat or voice box. While the voice box, throat, mouth, and nose are all important resonators in producing voiced sound, the one that most people don’t know about or use is their chest cavity. The largest of your 5 resonating cavities, the chest can make all the difference between an otherwise unimpressive voice and one that captivates your listeners.

4. Your voice is deeper in pitch than it is on your voicemail. Again, what you hear on your voicemail is the truth. [The majority of people hear their voice in their head as being deeper in pitch than it is in reality – pitch refers to the highness or lowness of sound. A small percentage hear their voice higher in pitch than it is in reality.]

5. Whispering is what you should do if you have strep or a sore throat. Whispering is extremely hard on your voice because your vocal cords are doing all the work. The best remedy is not to talk or, if you must, use your chest cavity to power your sound. When you can accomplish the latter, you will feel like you are going ‘over’ your throat when you speak.

You have a better voice inside. To find it, you will have to use your chest cavity as your primary sounding board. The result will be a richer, warmer, resonant sound that is deeper in pitch than your habitual voice. Imagine sounding more mature just by using your chest cavity to power your voice!

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