TODAY   |  May 31, 2013

Why you cringe at the sound of your voice

If hearing your own voice prompts the question “Is that what I really sound like?” you are not alone. TODAY’s Jenna Wolfe investigates why your voice sounds so different when recorded and played back to you.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> have you ever heard a recording of your own voice and thought that's what i sound like? if you're not crazy about how you sound , you are not alone. "today's" jenna wolfe is here.

>> good morning, everybody can relate in a little bit. our voice is a huge part of our identity, almost like our appearance but it's not exactly like looking in a mirror. when you hear your voice played back it sounds different, somewhere between strange and flat out awful. some are sultry.

>> terrible thing to be lonesome.

>> reporter: some sharp. and a select few are unforgettable.

>> what about pasts, ray?

>> reporter: what do you make of your voice?

>> is that really how i sound ?

>> everything sounds really nasal.

>> reporter: do you like the sound of your voice ?

>> not at all.

>> reporter: it turns out a lot of people agree, they like the sound of their voice as it comes out, but not when it's played back. but not when it's played back. and there's a scientific explanation for that.

>> similar to thinking about two different speakers and that you're only hearing one speaker, we're not hearing thats renation that's occurring internally.

>> reporter: even "today's" anchors are mixed.

>> for me, my own voice is nails on a chalkboard.

>> reporter: do you like the sound of your voice ?

>> for the most part. i think it's a little high.

>> nasal and whiney but it doesn't sound that to me in my own ear.

>> reporter: adam walsh records voiceovers for a living.

>> 25% off your cable bill and more.

>> reporter: i mean this guy's got to love his sound , right?

>> there's always something that sounds a little weird or off.

>> reporter: you're a guy who makes money off of your voice and you don't even like the sound of your own voice?

>> yeah, that's true.

>> reporter: that's a little odd, don't you think?

>> it's really odd.

>> reporter: bottom line whether or not you consider your voice golden, others might, so be proud of your pipes and chat away, america.

>> i like mine. other people might not but i do.

>> a lot of people agree on this, hard to listen to.

>> not just all of us. everyone else.

>> jane is a speech language pathologist. jane, nice to see you.

>> good morning.

>> your voice is an important tool in conveying authority and confidence and things like that.

>> absolutely.

>> so how do you change it if you don't like it.

>> with a lot of training, but the first step is actually proper breathing, that's the key to developing a strong, powerful dynamic voice.

>> you're pointing to your abdomen.

>> yes all from here, not from your chest. you don't want to feel strain. you don't want to feel the nerves popping out. it's very easy when you practice with diagrammatic breathing.

>> you talk about powering up to convey confidence and authority. what does that mean?

>> there's so much research on the fact that people with strong, powerful voices are perceived as having greater self-confidence than people with softer voices, so one of the very first steps i do in training anyone is teaching them the proper way so that they have power and they can create a more dynamic speaking