Are you surprised at how you sound when you listen to a recording of your voice? I always thought that we sound different to ourselves because your voice vibrates through your skull to your own eardrums, which gives you a unique experience of your voice. It’s kind of nice to think that every time you speak you’re giving yourself a private concert, but for effective communication you need to know how others hear you.

Vocal Coach Chris Beatty’s video shows one way to hear how you sound to others. He explains that part of the effect is due to sound travelling around your face to your ears. Blocking this sound lets you hear how your voice changes as it travels through the room. I gave it a try, and I was surprised at how well it works.

I have a deep voice, and people often have trouble understanding me. I’ve always wondered if I sound louder to myself than others, and if the distinct frequencies of my voice get muddled as they bounce around a room. When I used this technique and blocked my voice with some magazines, it sounded like my volume dropped to about 30%. I couldn’t believe it! I used to do theatre,1 so I know I can speak loudly enough to be clearly heard across an auditorium. Because of this, I try to keep my volume down so that people don’t think I’m shouting, but I think I went too far. Now, using this technique to hear how I sound to others for feedback I’ll be able to adjust how I speak to be more clearly understood.

via LifeHacker


  1. Yes, I was a stage ac-tor, I trod the boards