Some of the adjectives that come to mind when I hear someone who has excessive nasality are whiny, strident, shrill, and grating. And, given the right volume, tone, and duration, it can lead some listeners to develop a headache.
Don’t laugh. It has been reported that the voice of Mary Hart, the former co-host of Entertainment Tonight, triggered a seizure in an epileptic woman. When the TV was turned off, the seizure stopped. In fact, this incident got such wide coverage that it is referred to as the Mary Hart Syndrome. Doctors have long-known that pulsating visual stimuli can cause seizures and now realize that a particular pitch and quality of a speaking voice can do the same.
While I am not saying that your nasal voice is going to cause seizures in your listeners, I will say that excessive nasality can be most uncomfortable and does not project a professional image. Can you honestly picture Fran Drescher – in her role as The Nanny – on the board of directors for a Fortune 500 company? I can not; however, in her nanny character, the New York nasal voice was perfect, lending itself to humor and wonderful comedic scenes.
Competition in today’s business world is fierce. If your voice is characterized by a sound that is vibrating in your nose, then the image you are projecting is not one that exudes confidence. Instead, it labels you as the one with the annoying voice and that is not good for your success, especially if you, like so many others today, are doing business internationally.
It is also important to recognize that the nasal voice I am talking about is the one you hear on your voicemail or some form of recording equipment. While that is not a sound you hear throughout your day, it is the sound everyone else hears when you speak. That is the image with which you need to concern yourself.
While others’ opinions about you and your abilities, based on how you sound, may not be a fair assessment, it is still a trait that labels you. A young man with whom I was working had excessive nasality which made him sound young and inexperienced. His boss told him to do something about his voice. Once he rid himself of his nasal tones, he discovered his real voice, which was deeper in pitch and sounded more mature. Not only did his boss immediately notice the difference; but, the young man got a promotion to boot!
Don’t let your nasality limit your abilities to succeed in your business. Make the change and watch what happens to your career.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes how to get rid of the nasal in your voice.