Chapter 3

Getting to Know Your Own Voice

In This Chapter

arrow Hearing your own voice

arrow Appreciating all the factors that make up your voice

arrow Noticing how and when your voice varies

arrow Preparing to make changes

A man calls for a taxi. ‘I want to go to the station,’ he says. ‘Fine,’ replies the taxi driver. ‘I’ll pick you up. Where are you now?’ ‘Er . . . I don’t know. But I want to go to the station!’ Every journey goes from here to there, and you can’t start unless you know where you’re coming from. So where are you now vocally? What’s your voice like at present?

You may think that the answer is obvious, but it’s not because being sure exactly how your own voice sounds is difficult. You are, literally, too physically close to the actual sound you produce, and your hearing is influenced by your fears and expectations.

Many people hate their voices but can’t really explain why. They say, ‘I just have a feeling’ or ‘It’s the way people ignore me’ or ‘People look at me oddly when I open my mouth’. Some jump to conclusions because of their views about accent or class. Some have no idea at all ...

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