own your voice

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Hate the sound of your voice? It’s not you, it’s science!

Hate the sound of your voice? It’s not you, it’s science!

Is listening to recordings of your voice unpleasant?

One of the best ways to hone your public speaking skills or presentation skills is to record your voice when you practice.  Listening to the playback helps highlight verbal crutches you may want to eliminate such as, ‘um’, ‘like’, and ‘so’.  It also provides a way to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself: When do I sound the most clear and concise? At what points do I lose focus or lack volume?  When trying to emphasize a particular thought am I straining vocally?  These things become easier to identify and fix when you use a recording of yourself to prepare. Yet many of us would rather eat glass than listen to the recorded sound of our own voice.

It doesn’t even sound like me.

Many of our clients say they don’t like the sound of their own voice.  I often attribute this to previous negative public speaking experiences.  Maybe that failed book report from fourth grade is haunting you.  Or the time you crashed and burned giving the speech at your grandmother’s 75th birthday.  But it turns out bad past experiences are not the primary culprit – science is!

Jonah Bromwich, a reporter for the New York Times recently explored why so many of us find the sound of our own voice off-putting.  Bromwich chatted up John J. Rosowski, a professor and researcher at Harvard Medical School who focuses on the middle ear and William Hartmann, a physics professor at Michigan State University specializing in acoustics and psychoacoustics. (Side bar: how fascinating is the concept of psychoacoustics?  A whole branch of psychology devoted to the “psychological and physiological responses associated with sound”?!?)

Ok, so according to Hartmann, because our vocal cords vibrate when we speak we experience the sound of our own voice internally.  The vibrations of our voice “are conducted through our bones and excite our inner ears directly.”  To make things even wilder, other factors influencing how we sound to ourselves include the interaction of these vibrations with “cerebrospinal fluid, the clear liquid that sits within the brain and spine.”  More science!

Why do I sound so weird to myself?

Here’s the thing: the most typical pathway we experience sound through is external.  Vibrations from the air pass through the “chain of our hearing systems, traversing the outer, middle and inner ear.”  When we hear a recording of ourselves our brain experiences the sound of our own voice through an entirely different channel than it normally does – hence the weirdness.  This just further supports Bespoken’s belief that there are no ‘good’ speakers or ‘bad’ speakers. It also explains why many of our clients shy away from taping themselves when practicing their public speaking and presentation skills.

Now that you know why you dislike the sound of your own voice, and that it’s perfectly natural and normal, you have one less excuse not to utilize this effective and useful tool the next time you’re preparing to speak publicly.

Changemaker Workshop 10/25

Changemaker Workshop 10/25

We are thrilled to be partnering with Changemaker Chats!

Changemaker Chats are intimate, invite-only Q&A style events with women who are changing the world all over the country. We always leave a Changemaker Chat with a pocket full of good advice from women leaders and a bunch of connections with changemakers from all industries. Join us on October 25th for a Changemaker workshop and Own Your Voice. Register here.

 


From Changemaker Chats: 

We are so excited to host a special Changemaker Workshop with Bespoken. Bespoken is passionate about helping women speak their story, find their voice, and own any room they enter. In this interactive, on-your-feet workshop, Changemakers will receive a hands-on practicum in vocal and physical technique that will position them to speak with conviction and confidence. Each participant receives in-the-moment, personalized feedback and leaves with improved understanding of how the power of tone, breath, physicality and presence can empower them and their story.

Ready to own your voice? Register Here

Leah Bonvissuto
CoFounder, Bespoken
When: Tuesday, October 25
Time: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Where: 1 Rockefeller Plaza, 28th FL
Registration: $35

Own Your Voice:
Speaking with Authority and Conviction

Fact: A study from Harvard, Wharton, and MIT found that men’s voices are perceived as more persuasive, fact-based, and logical than women’s voices, even when they are reading identical pitches.

Say what?

Here’s where Changemakers x Bespoken comes in. Bespoken is a communication coaching and presentation skills training organization that is passionate about helping women speak their story, find their voice, and own any room they enter.

In this interactive, on-your-feet workshop, Changemakers will receive a hands-on practicum in vocal and physical technique that will position them to speak with conviction and confidence. Each participant will receive in-the-moment, personalized feedback and will leave with an improved understanding of how the power of tone, breath, physicality and presence can empower herself and her communications.

Key Takeaways Will Include How To: 

  • Make powerful vocal and physical choices
  • Confidently and comfortably own your ideas
  • Engage an audience of one or many
  • Harness nerves and tackle discomfort associated with public speaking

About Bespoken

Inspired to help people own their voice and be heard, Bespoken was founded in 2014 by Leah Bonvissuto and Jackie Miller. Friends who met in acting school a decade before, Leah and Jackie channel years of professional theater experience into developing techniques to help people speak their story with power and precision.

Own Your Voice with Bespoken + ChickTech

Own Your Voice with Bespoken + ChickTech

We’re partnering up with ChickTech NYC on public speaking to help #WomenInTech Own Your Voice on April 19th!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Microsoft Technology Center
11 Times Square, New York, NY

Click here for more info

<< Save $10 if you buy your tickets before April 12 with coupon code EARLYBIRD. Click here >>

Wondering how to speak in public or improve your business communication skills? Learn practical and pro-active techniques to improve vocal command and presence when speaking in high-pressure situations. In this interactive, on-your-feet professional development experience, you’ll receive personalized feedback to optimize your presentation style. We’ll show you how to make the impression you intended—no matter the stakes.

Bespoken is a coaching firm dedicated to helping people speak with conviction and communicate with confidence. Bespoken Co-Founders are Leah Bonvissuto and Jackie Miller. Rooted in powerful yet practical theater techniques, Bepoken’s work is designed to help you harness your innate ability to communicate effectively in any situation. Participants leave with improved vocal command, soft skills, physical presence, self-awareness, confidence, collaborative control, and emotional intelligence. (Contact: www.bespokenpartners.com

<< Buy your tickets and save $5 at Eventbrite >>