Are You Even Listening to Yourself?
I was out for a walk some time ago and, as is my custom when walking alone, was listening to Planet Money, a podcast from NPR. This particular episode ended early and the hosts started talking about some of the feedback they get via mail and email. One point of listener consternation was, “We frequently receive comments from listeners regarding our voices and how nasal-y we sound.”
“Yes!” I screamed out loud.
“What’s more,” I would write to them later, “you drop your voice at the end of every sentence” (do me a favor. Listen to a Planet Money podcast long enough to hear one of the hosts say, “This is Planet Money” and you will see exactly what I’m talking about).
None of us fully appreciate how we sound. None of us are aware of our speech patterns and idiosyncrasies. My daughters say, “Like” far too often and then deny it when I pointed out (like any good father would). In one of my own podcast interviews, I heard “you know” so many times, I painstakingly went through the entire recording to remove as many as I could. My guess is, the interviewee had no idea he was even saying it.
Why am I bothering to talk to about this? Why does it matter? It just does. We are in the communication business and need to come across as well-spoken as possible.
Perhaps you should record your own voice and play it back. Or, if you are thick-skinned enough, ask those around you to comment and then make corrections. In the grand scheme of things, it is a minor point but file this one under “Control what you can control.” Perhaps it will make a difference.
Like, you know?