See me speak live at Podcast San Diego on March 28, 2014. Get your early-bird ticket by clicking here.
To this day I can remember the tape recorder that my parents gave me and my siblings so we could listen to our favorite Michael Jackson or Men at Work tapes. For me, I suppose the desire to be a radio personality started when I took blank tapes and started recording my voice into the tape recorder. It seems insignificant, but in the 80s, this was cutting edge technology that allowed anyone to record events, bootlegs, or their ideas for 15-30 minutes on one side of the tape.
Of course, when I recorded into the tape recorder and listened back to what I had laid down, I thought my voice sounded horrible. In fact, I felt embarrassed that I sounded so strange.
For some people, they don’t care how they sound on a recording, but for a lot of people, listening to the sound of their own voice is absolutely terrifying! I’ve heard people say they only record things if they have to because they don’t like the sound of their voice. A good example of this was my own sister when we decided to launch her own podcast. Prior to even starting her podcast, I had her sit in front of a microphone and record a fake webinar for at least an hour. For her, it was absolutely uncomfortable, but necessary.
It wasn’t the best webinar that I had seen, but if you know anything about my sister, she likes to face challenges head-on regardless of what the outcome may be. She’s a true psychological warrior.
When I had her go back and listen to the webinar, I can remember her saying, “I don’t like the sound of my voice.”
Well, I’m here to tell you–like I told my sister over a year ago–that your voice is to stay and there’s nothing you can do to make it sound any different.
If you are a podcaster or someone who is looking to start a podcast, I want you to stop comparing yourself to how another podcast host sounds–even if you think you aren’t comparing yourself. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP about the sound of your voice. Your voice is part of you and in order for you to become great at anything, you must love every little thing about yourself. This includes your voice.
In fact, the sound of your voice is going to be your signature when you don’t even realize it. I bet you anything that you could pick Howard Stern’s voice out of nowhere if he were talking within an earshot of where you’re standing. Because Howard has been on the air for so long, people recognize the timbre of his voice and signature speech patterns. The same goes for guys like Dan Rather, Ryan Seacrest or even Jimmy Fallon. The same will go for you.
What’s funny about having your own signature voice is that people associate it with your brand. Case in point…
When I traveled to Dallas, Texas for Podcast Movement, someone had walked up to me and said, “You’re Shannon Hernandez, right?”
When I told this person, “Yeah, I am. How did you know?”, his first response wasn’t because he knew what I looked like by my pictures.
He said, “I thought I recognized your voice from Jared Easeley’s podcast.”
Your voice is just another part of your brand. Your voice is your signature.
Never put yourself down and learn to love your voice because people will love you for having it.
I promise you this.