Voice

Is Your Voice Toxic? And What to Do About It…

Toxic voices are extremely common. When a voice is toxic, it is draining to hear or listen to. The draining influence of a toxic voice affects all people within earshot by creating tension and spreading a low mood. However, only sensitive people can directly feel the icky, draining quality of the toxic voice in the moment that it is speaking.

Sensitives are best advised to avoid or disengage from conversations with people who have toxic voices. When sensitives have good boundaries, this happens naturally, as the sensitive will not want to engage in any kind of prolonged conversation with the toxic voice. Or, if they must interact occasionally, for example because the person with the toxic voice is a relative or colleague, then the sensitive learns to disengage from ‘draining conversations,’ which only encourage the person with the toxic voice to offload on them and to drain.

When I’m out in the real world, for example in a coffee shop, and I encounter a draining voice, my attitude towards that person is reserved. The reason for this is to keep my distance and to prevent any sense of familiarity from building up between us. While toxic voices cannot be avoided out in the real world, it is possible to prevent such a person from seeking out your attention in possible future encounters. The last thing you want to do is to give the draining voice your full attention. However, if the draining voice belongs to someone you care about, you may DECIDE to give them attention from time to time as a form of love. But this kind of sacrifice is not owed to strangers.

All voices are draining sometimes. However, a toxic voice is always draining.

All people are negative sometimes. Whereas, a toxic voice is negative about everything all the time.

It is not possible to change someone you know if you identify him or her as having a toxic voice. However, it is possible to detoxify your own voice. This comes down to cleansing yourself from negativity and detoxifying yourself. Note: I’m not advocating that you pretend to live in a ‘positive bubble’, merely that you find a healthy balance in which you can see the good in life, as well as the bad.


Here follow some practical things you can do to detoxify yourself and your voice:

  • Take a break from any kind of news (30 days is a good starting point)
  • Take a course of detoxifying supplements
  • Take supplements for candida and reduce sugars and processed foods in your diet
  • Take a nightly bath and scrub your skin. Soak long enough until the top layer of your skin rubs off
  • Don’t give in to the lure of toxic conversations: disengage, avoid, or label it a ‘draining conversation’. Only when you are healthier and your energy is better can you handle a little negativity now and then.
  • Leave social media
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Walk in nature, especially in forests or woods
  • Train yourself to notice and appreciate the small, beautiful things or moments in everyday life. For example, the sight of a cute baby. These things are your food.
  • End friendships or slowly detach from spending time with people who moan and complain all the time
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself and take action

Top 10 Reasons People Don’t Like Their Voices

In my work as a speech and voice coach, here are the top 10 reasons people have for not liking the way that their voices sound:

Men Who Don’t Like The Way Their Voices Sound…

  1. Voice not deep enough (sounds too feminine)
  2. Voice lacks gravitas  (sounds unconfident)
  3. Voice not loud enough (sounds unconfident)
  4. Voice is overly nasal (sounds nerdy)
  5. Voice is monotone (sounds boring)

Women Who Don’t Like The Way Their Voices Sound…

  1. Voice is shrill (sounds unpleasant)
  2. Voice is manly (sounds overly deep)
  3. Voice is squeaky (sounds too high pitched)
  4. Voice has mucus (sounds unhealthy)
  5. Voice is damaged by smoking (sounds unhealthy)

For my help improving the way your voice sounds, check out my Best Voice Profile service.

Over Enunciation — How Annoying!

Over enunciation (also over articulation and over pronunciation) is when a speaker puts far too much effort into saying every sound in a word. I give you an example of a speaker who over enunciates, and share with you what it reveals about people who speak this way.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Reading)

My speech performance reading of the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ (1834) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the introduction I also talk about the meaning of the albatross symbol. This poem is one of my favourite poems form the Romanticism era of English poetry.

Can You Change Your Voice?

Are you stuck with the voice you are born with or can you change it? I explain whether you can change your voice based on my personal experience as a speech, voice and personal development teacher.

Speak Like Holly: An Attractive and Appealing Voice

How to speak attractively like Holly Willoughby. Holly’s voice hits the sweet spot of feminine vocal attractiveness and is very appealing to listen to. In this video I share with you the secrets that make her voice and speaking style so attractive.

The secrets of Holly’s vocal attractiveness that I share in this video include:
1. Her feminine pitch
2. Her golden tones
3. Her giggling attacks
4. Her saucy innuendos
5. Her nurturing side and baby talking

For my international viewers, Holly Willoughby is the darling of daytime TV in the UK. She co-presents the lifestyle show ‘This Morning’ with Philip Schofield, who is also referred to in this video.

Should You Change Your Voice to Be More Attractive?

My voice tips were featured on ‘The Doctors’ show which is one of the biggest daytime TV shows in the USA. They discussed the question of whether you should change your voice to be more attractive, using my Kylie Jenner seductive voice video as their example.

Here’s the full version with tips to get an attractive voice:

The Witches of Macbeth

The famous scene from Shakespeare’s Macbeth where the witches stir up a potion (Act 4, Scene 1): ‘Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble’. My version is not the original text of Shakespeare’s play; it is a slight adaptation of Roman Polanski’s film version (1971).

The witches of Macbeth are supposed to evoke a strong sense of disgust in us. Since the witches are ‘low characters’ in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, I have chosen not to speak in clear ‘Shakespearean English’ to deliver these lines.

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Macbeth / Roman Polanski Witches Script:

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes

Hahahaha!

[how now you secret, black and midnight hags – what is to do!]

A deed without a name

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights had thirty-one

Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charm’ed pot.

Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,

Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,

Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
Severed in the moon’s eclipse

Fillet of a fenny snake,
Into the cauldron boil and bake;

Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

‘Ulalume’ By Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Alan Poe’s ‘Ulalume: A Ballad’ — my voice performance. ‘Ulalume’ is a poem about a ghostly October journey In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles

Voice acting to tell you ‘The Story of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles’ by Jethro Tull. The accent I am speaking in is a mixture of Northern English dialects combined with voice acting/theatrical emphasis. This one might be hard for you to understand if you are not a native speaker of English, therefore this performance has subtitles/captions enabled.

Lyrics to ‘The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles’

Owl loved to rest quietly whilst no one was watching
Sitting on a fence one day, he was surprised when suddenly a kangaroo ran close by
Now this may not seem strange, but when Owl overheard Kangaroo whisper to no one in particular,”The hare has lost his spectacles,” well, he began to wonder…

Presently, the moon appeared from behind a cloud and there, lying on the grass was hare
In the stream that flowed by the grass a newt
And sitting astride a twig of a bush a bee
Ostensibly motionless, the hare was trembling with excitement
For without his spectacles he appeared completely helpless
Where were his spectacles? Could someone have stolen them?
Had he mislaid them? What was he to do?
Bee wanted to help, and thinking he had the answer began:
“You probably ate them thinking they were a carrot.”
“No!” interrupted Owl, who was wise
“I have good eye-sight, insight, and foresight
How could an intelligent hare make such a silly mistake?”
But all this time, Owl had been sitting on the fence, scowling!
A Kangaroo were hopping mad at this sort of talk
She thought herself far superior in intelligence to the others
She was their leader, their guru. She had the answer:
“Hare, you must go in search of the optician.”
But then she realized that Hare was completely helpless without his spectacles
And so, Kangaroo loudly proclaimed, “I can’t send Hare in search of anything!”
“You can guru, you can!” shouted Newt
“You can send him with Owl.”
But Owl had gone to sleep
Newt knew too much to be stopped by so small a problem
“You can take him in your pouch.”
But alas, Hare was much too big to fit into Kangaroo’s pouch
All this time, it had been quite plain to hare that the others knew nothing about spectacles

As for all their tempting ideas, well Hare didn’t care
The lost spectacles were his own affair
And after all, Hare did have a spare a-pair.

Voice Tips for Recording Audio with a Clear Voice

Voice recording tips: how to get a more professional and clear result from your voice when you record.

“Floppy, gloopy voice” is when the voice sounds disharmonious and the tones of your voice are out of tune. It can sound mucusy and the transition between the tones will sound off key. There may also be the sensation of the voice getting stuck. I explain how to avoid having an unclear voice in your audio recordings. Follow this advice to make your voice sound at its best next time you record. This video also explains what causes the voice to sound stuck and disharmonious and the people it tends to affect most.

Meaning of a Lump in the Throat: Globus Hystericus

An intuitive perspective regarding the sensation of something being caught in the throat. This can feel like a constriction and there can be difficulty swallowing. Also known as globus hystericus / globus pharyngis.

Jade Joddle Interviewed by New Zealand Radio

I did a really fun and funny interview with hosts Jay-Jay, Dom and Randell from New Zealand’s biggest breakfast radio show. We talk about what makes a seductive, sexy voice. Listen to a three minute clip of our chat by clicking the player below:

 

How Tone of Voice Can Lie

Did you ever talk to an English person and get confused because what they were saying to you didn’t quite seem to make sense? – Perhaps you encountered one of the sophisticated liars of England who make use of tone of voice and speaking style to appear nice, professional or kind when telling you something that doesn’t quite make sense and often means the opposite.

The sophisticated liars of England are to be encountered in the professions. I have personally come across them in the charity sector and among those who work for the government. I also know that some of my fans have encountered them as teachers or doctors. Not all people who do these kinds of jobs are liars, but plenty of them are, and they know how to speak in such a way so that they can save face when telling you something that seems untrue or you know if false.

How to spot a sophisticated liar? The thing to know is that they are very skilled using expression and tone of voice. They will manage to convince you of what they are saying, though at the same time you will feel confused or as if it makes no sense. You may leave your encounter with them feeling a little ashamed, not good enough, or as if you did something wrong.

While you may not be able to change the outcome of a situation by knowing the person you are dealing with is lying to you, knowing that such people exist can help you to feel less doubtful about yourself. Over time and with practice you can even discover how to counteract them!

To be on guard against the sophisticated liars of England (who may well be the best in the world, although these kinds of people do exist everywhere), train yourself to listen to the words themselves. What a person actually says and their actions to back it up are always much more important that HOW a person says something, no matter how charming or professional a person may appear on the surface.

Spasmodic Dysphonia Example Voice and Healing Advice

Spasmodic dysphonia is a speech disorder where the voice cuts out. What happens from a medical perspective is that the voice box and/or glottis spasms while the person is speaking. A example of a person speaking with a mild case of spasmodic dysphonia can be heard in the video below:

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What I picked up from Sara’s voice is that there is a lot of forcing in it in the sense that she is watching and scrutinising every sound that escapes her mouth. The tones of her voice are warm and resonant but there is also something forced about these tones for the situation she is in. The tones in her voice would better fit the situation of reassuring a loved one who was sick in hospital. She says in the video that speech therapists gave her the advice to speak from her head and to raise her tone so that she can avoid the voice breaking. This may be the standard advice for treating spasmodic dysphonia for all I know, but from my perspective this advice would more likely lead to escalation of the problem.

The problem of Sara being in her head is in my opinion the leading cause of the spasmodic dysphonia. Sara is so much her head that she watches and interrupts every sound that flows from her mouth. By watching herself in this way Sara tries to force her voice to sound a certain way. However, I can speak from experience here by saying that whenever you watch any body process intently for a period of time it leads to obsessive anxiety and the problem gets worse and worse. The more you watch; the worse the problem gets. So I would say that healing lies not only in coming down out of her head to the extent that she can stop watching every sound, but it also lies in accepting her voice as it is, including the fact that it sometimes cuts out. Sara needs to learn to allow her voice to be how it is, without forcing it to be something it is not.

Our voices when in harmony with ourselves are joyful instruments of self-expression. A free voice is not one that is watched, judged and corrected all the time. It’s one that sounds how it sounds, depending on the situation. It’s not a constant ‘friendly’ or polite tone of voice. Sometimes it may be flat; sometimes it may be soft and whispery. The free voice is always changing and is allowed to change without a guard starting over and judging it’s every move. The voice is free to express itself in different ways as befits the moment. If the voice doesn’t know how to be free in the moment, then neither can the person be free in the moment, I would say.

MY ADVICE FOR SPASMODIC DYSPHONIA: Since there appears to be an uneasy relationship to the voice and the seat of self-expression in a person with spasmodic dysphonia, healing lies in learning how to enjoy the voice and to lose the fear of it again. Ways of doing this are numerous; for example by singing, talking aloud to yourself, recording yourself making videos; reading poetry; or even going out into nature and shouting out random mad things into the air. Choose any activity or a combination of them that you are most attracted to and practice every day or as often as you can. I would also suggest testing the idea that one’s voice cutting out is wrong or bad – for example by exaggerating the voice cutting out when doing your chosen speech practice.

Finally, I would say to have hope. These strange anxiety disorders may pop up out of nowhere and drive us to distraction for longer than we would like. However, same as they pop up they can disappear again. For them to disappear we need to be flexible and open to making shifts in how we live our lives.