Why You Hate the Sound of Your Voice. Four things you can do right now to make listening to yourself easier.


Nine times out of ten, this is what I hear when I ask a client to listen to a recording of themselves.

“Oh #$SX, is that how I sound?”

or maybe this…

“I can’t STAND my voice!”

 It’s hard to listen to ourselves. 

Why?

*brace yourself for a cliff notes version of what I learned in my graduate acoustics class*

When we talk our voices move through the air via sound wave vibrations.  

The waves hit the eardrum of our listeners, are transmitted and processed by their brain.  

Tada!

Your listeners know it’s you.

 It’s called air conduction.

Now, when you’re listening to yourself sound waves get to your brain through air conduction and bone conduction.

Bone conduction happens when we speak and vibrate the bones in our skulls.

Our brains register the sound waves of both bone and air. 

Which means your voice sounds different to you than it does to everyone else. 

Ugh.

So what can we do to make it easier to listen to ourselves

Here are a few things that help;

1.) Stop avoiding it!

The more time you spend listening to yourself the easier it will be. 

(I’m not promising you’ll love it, we’re going for easier)

2, ) Determine what you LIKE about your voice.

You’re probably your own worst critic. Pick one thing you do like and focus on that. 

3.) Listen to your content.

This is big.

You’re listening because you want to be a better speaker.

Your voice is only one component of that.  Asking yourself “Is my message clear?” helps you focus on getting better in all areas. 

4.) Stick with the facts.

I speak softly” is factual.

I sound like a cartoon character” is not.

Objectively describing your voice helps you determine what, if anything, you’d like to change about it.

Repeat these steps as needed with each new recording you make. 

Is it easy?

No.  

Is it worth it?

Yes. 

You’ll be a better speaker for it. 

PS

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4 replies
  1. Sharon Lee Van Dam
    Sharon Lee Van Dam says:

    Great explanation of how we hear our own voices. Excellent tips on how to become more comfortable listening to ourselves. I used to tell my students to not be afraid of their own voices.

    Reply

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