I am listening to voices all day long, not the ones in my own head, but the voices of the people around me. The sound of each voice evokes immediate response, sometimes good, sometime not so good. As much importance as we put on first impressions, we talk more about visual appearance than what we hear when a person opens their mouth to talk. Both are important – my opinion.
The voices I hear give clues as to their age, their strength, their state of mind, the passion behind what they speak of, and their opinion of me. All of this registers within seconds.
The voices I know best and love are a joy to listen to.
My husband’s voice is soft (almost too soft) and low. It’s a good comforting voice, most of the time.
My oldest daughter’s voice is youthful, thoughtful, appropriately authoritative at times.
My youngest daughter’s voice is measured, rhythmical, careful.
My mother’s voice is cheerful, content, trusting, quick to laugh.
My friend’s hint of foreign accent delights me.
Another friend has a voice of strength and conviction that I admire.
Some voices are recognizable even if I have not heard them for years. Even over the phone, the college friend or hometown buddy has a voice that quickens my memory of them. Voice prints are so specific that they are even being used for official authentication in some places. They are even being used as art!
I marvel at the voices that read audio books these days. I think that would be such a fun job for a person with a good voice, one that is flexible and expressive. Voices that sing – a whole other category – can be totally surprising. Sometimes I watch “The Voice” which proves that point over and over. You can never be sure what someone will sound like from looking at them. Not even close,
There are voices that, possibly through no fault of their own, sound like they are causing pain to the speaker. That pain transmits to my ears and makes them difficult to listen to. The voice that is forced out, gravelly, or tight and strained make me suspect hard times have been weathered. The voice that is arrogant, angry, uninterested makes me sad, and I do not want to listen even though listening is probably what is needed.
I know how I want my voice to sound but speaking is so natural and spontaneous that I often forget to evaluate, to think of what others are hearing.
Have you listened to a recording of your own voice lately? Does it surprise you?