Whiny – high in pitch – nasal – hoarse – throaty – gravelly – scratchy – whispery – soft – loud – shrill – strident – thick – thin – childlike – old – muddy – chirpy – sharp – raspy – tight – wispy – wimpy – shaky – heavy accent.
If just one of those descriptions is typical of how you sound, you should think about a course in voice improvement because the words that describe a dynamic speaking voice are not found in that list.
Those descriptions would be rich – warm – deep – and full of resonance.
You may have noticed that the monotone voice and mumbling were not included in the above example because neither of those characteristics describe the actual quality of the voice. They describe what you are doing (or not doing) with the voice and will need additional work.
Should you be displeased with how you sound, do some research and find someone who will teach you how to use your chest as your primary sounding board. This is a priority because all of those adjectives, whatever they may be, will disappear once you have learned to place your voice in your chest cavity. It is truly amazing to see and ‘hear’ how this works.
Stay away from those who want to give you various exercises to fix whatever adjective describes your voice. Aside from mumbling, excessive nasality, and the monotone voice, the rest of those other descriptive ‘qualities’ will be gone once you place your voice properly.
If you have chronic hoarseness and are not sick, for example, then you are probably suffering from vocal abuse. Once you use your chest to power your sound, you will immediately stop the stress on your vocal folds (cords); thus, your vocal abuse will gone. If you sound like a child (and are over 21), powering your voice from your chest will give you a mature sound – not too old, not too young – ageless. If you speak with a heavy accent, for example, your diction will improve.
Even some slight nasality can be eliminated when you change your voice placement. Excessive nasality, however, which is typical of Brooklyn or the Bronx or even Philly, will probably need some additional work.
Finding your ‘real’ voice is a wonderful means of increasing your self-esteem. Imagine sounding better, looking better, and feeling better about yourself just by changing where you place your voice. It’s that simple!
If you are interested in finding your ‘real’ voice in a Voice & Presentation Skills Workshop, visit the Workshop page on my website for this year’s schedule.