I’m often asked if I’m always judging other people’s voices. If I’m teaching, obviously I do. If I’m in a social situation, I do not. However, a really good voice draws my attention as well as one which is really bad.
At a high school reunion I attended recently, I heard a really bad voice. Strident, shrill, harsh, nasal, irritating and loud. While I only spoke to this woman briefly, it took everything in my power not to tell her that I would teach her to find her ‘real’ voice for free. I am confident her husband would have thanked me!
In fact this woman, whose name is Charlene, has now taken 1st place in my list of bad voices, beating out my son’s former 7th grade teacher who was able to power and amplify her sound just with her nose. She did this in a manner that I could not describe nor copy.
What makes a voice bad for me is one which grates on my nerves. Loud voices hurt your listeners’ ears and, of course, they are irritating. A voice which is grating, however, does not necessarily have to be loud. Whatever its volume, you have something akin to the sound of nails on a blackboard.
Charlene has a better voice inside as does the 7th grade teacher. While many of the people with whom I work tend to be soft-spoken, I do work with those whose voices are painful to listen to.
What’s fascinating about the voice which is too loud and the one which is too soft is that the techniques I use for finding one’s real voice will work for both. The soft-spoken voice will increase to a normal volume level automatically and will be warm in quality. Likewise, the loud voice will soften in volume, exhibiting that same warmth. The edge or harshness will be gone from the voice which was previously grating.
Whatever problem or problems you may have with your voice, learn to breathe, find the optimum range of your speaking voice, and then use your chest to power and amplify your sound. You will be amazed at the results.
I just finished working with Deborah in Wisconsin by means of Skype. What a wonderful ‘before and after’ for this woman. Her voice is richer, deeper in pitch, and more distinctive. While not everyone can work with me in person, it is great that we have the ability to Skype. If you are interested in private sessions, call me (856-627-6040) or email me for more information.