When you listen to your on-air work, is your pitch so high you think you sound like Minnie Mouse?
Well, you’re not alone if you feel that way. Many clients of mine come to me thinking the same thing. Here are the two things I share with these clients.
First, I explain to them that all of us think we sound considerably lower pitched than we actually do. The reason for this is that when we hear our own voice as we speak, it is being resonating not only out in the air around us, but also inside our heads. Others don’t hear the inside resonance. Think of it as if your voice is coming through speakers and you have two sets of bass speakers. You hear double the resonance.
The other reason for a higher pitch is tension in the upper chest. The vocal folds are two tiny pieces of muscle and ligament in the throat that vibrate to make sound waves that can be shaped into speech by our mouth. They are located right behind your Adam’s apple–that bump in the front of your neck. Being located where they are makes them easily susceptible to tension in the upper chest. If the vocal folds become tense, they become stretched, which causes the pitch of the sound to rise. The result? You may sound like Minnie.
A quick lesson in proper breathing will get you on the right path. Watch this short video to get started. Then check out my other posts on breathing listed on the Categories in the right-hand sidebar.