What Does Your Voice Sound Like to Others?

If you have set out to know what your voice sounds like to others you first have to establish a connection with your own voice to know it better. First and foremost your voice sounds different to others than how you perceive it.

When you speak your voice goes through your body resonators, i.e. your bones, and that is why you perceive your voice to be deeper than it really is. Others hear a higher-pitched voice than what you perceive yourself to be.

How to Hear your real voice?

To hear how your voice sounds to others follow these tips:

  • Place your hands open in front of your ears, placing your palms backward as if it were an acoustic screen, then start speaking to evaluate your voice. This simple exercise prevents the bass waves from reaching the peripheral ear, which will give you a useful reference on how others actually perceive your voice.
  • Recording your voice on any device is a useful resource for you to have a reference for how your voice sounds to others. However, your recorded voice is only as accurate as of the device you’re using. For example, smartphones will enhance mid frequencies to improve the clarity of your voice, therefore, it’s not a completely accurate representation of your voice. Professional microphones, especially high-quality condensers are the most accurate and will give you the best idea of how your voice actually sounds but these may not always be available.
  • The following exercise will help you to hear your own voice directly and without distortions of any kind. Sit comfortably, take two pieces of cardboard and place them against your cheeks, spanning the sides of your head, just in front of your ears. Start speaking naturally and you will pick up your real voice. This simple technique prevents the sound from bouncing off and through the jawbones. The sound you make enters your ears similarly to how it would to a stranger and allows you to hear your real voice.
  • The following trick will allow you to hear your voice without the inner vibrations created by the voice. Open the palms of your hands, join your fingers together, separate the thumb making the shape of an “L”. Fit your ears from that angle and pass your thumbs behind. Keep your hands in that position and place your palms facing forward, in the same direction as your eyes point. Gently press your cheeks and jaw to cushion the vibrations. Begin to speak while placing and removing your hands in this posture. Listen carefully to the result and you will get a real perspective on how others hear you.

When it comes to finding out how others hear your voice, you should take into account other factors that affect the sensory perception of the sound coming out of your vocal cords. Factors such as your mood, the vocal technique you use to work, the health of your throat, the elements you use to speak, the devices you use to record and obviously the sensory perception of each person who listens to you.

Your voice isn’t set in stone, you can learn to control it better and improve it through training, techniques and vocal exercises.

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