Friday, August 21, 2015

Get Over Hating the Sound of Your Voice

I used to hate the sound of my voice, and I've never met anyone that didn't feel this way. Your voice never sounds the same in recordings as it does when speaking.
What's the simplest way to getover the sound of your voice? Keep listening to it.

If you want to improve at anything you have to practice.

I'm a member of Toastmasters, an organization focused on making better speakers and leaders. This is accomplished through impromptu speaking and prepared speeches. I practice my speeches using video recording. This is critical because my speeches are judged on what people see and hear. Anybody you meet will judge you based on the same criteria. What do people see and hear when they interact with you? While watching a video of myself was and still is a cringe inducing moment, I got over. I focused on how to improve, from presentation to mannerisms and cadence. Sometimes you just have to ignore it.

I got over hearing my voice through desensitization. I recently started a podcast, Fridays on the Fly. Editing episodes provides you a lot of time to hear your own voice. Part of it, is just getting used to it. Editing a podcast episode can take over two hours, there is no avoiding my voice.
Growing up, there were train tracks quite close to my house. When friends came over they would become excited at random intervals and exclaim, "A train!" I hadn't even heard it. I had gotten used to it.

Sometimes the problem with your voice is something you need to change. I realize I speak quickly. You will only realize that if you listen to your voice. To overcome my rapid speaking I pretend I'm playing a character with a unique voice. Obviously accents or pitch changes will raise eyebrows, but I play a character that speaks slowly with precision. It still sounds like me, but it sounds better.

Overcoming the disdain for my voice happened through exposure, focusing on improvement, or playing a character. It has led me to post audio recordings of my short stories. I've gotten to the point that I really don't mind my voice, something I never thought would happen.

I've also started posting youtube videos. While I'm not completely comfortable with my presence on screen, posting these videos forces me to improve. My first few videos were incredibly dull, but I'm getting better.

If you never try you will never get better, and
you will certainly never succeed.

If you want to improve, whether it's speaking, stage presence, or any skill, you first have to attempt it. If you never try you will never get better, and you will certainly never succeed. Seek and read tips to refine your performance and work. You can't fix everything immediately, so pick one area to improve, "I will not say the word 'and' to link every sentence." Seek to actively improve one thing at a time. If you do these things, you will get over hating the sound of your own voice.
Blogger Widget