Imagine nails on a blackboard and how it makes your skin crawl or how the hair on the back of your neck stands on end. Now imagine a nasal voice similar to those who hail from Brooklyn or the Bronx. After hearing a sound like that for any great length of time, you might get the same reaction that you did from the nails as they scrape the smooth surface of the board.
In fact, given a prolonged period of listening to those nails could be considered a form of torture. How do you think your nasal voice affects others? For some, it, too, is a form of torture because it can be painful to your listeners’ ears, especially for those who live in other parts of the country.
Various forms of nasality can be heard in different parts of America and Canada but, without a doubt, the most excessive form comes from New York City and its boroughs as well as northern New Jersey. We, in South Jersey, have our own issues with nasality but it is not quite the same as that of our northern neighbors. If you don’t believe me, just listen to Rocky Balboa, Yo! Adrianne! then listen to Fran Drescher of The Nanny.
The problem with a voice which exhibits excessive nasality is that it does not sound professional. I know this is a drastic statement but it is true. Today so many people are doing business on an international scale that there was an article in the Wall Street Journal which took to task the New York sound. When your clients and customers sound like you, there is no problem. When your clients and customers do not sound like you, it can be a problem.
New Yorkers are becoming aware of how their nasal tones are labeling them and are not pleased with the label.
Nasality is the result of too much of your vocal sound traveling through your nasal passages. The best way to test for this is to gently place a finger on each side of your nose and say the word be. Did you feel vibration in your nose”? If so, then you have some nasal issues and should practice some exercises in order to eliminate the twang.
The answer lies in learning how to move your sound along the floor of your mouth instead of up through your nasal passages. When you can accomplish this, you will notice a surprising difference in how you sound and how others perceive you as well.