The voices characterized above, represent patient's voices that I heard for the first time on the phone last week. Like many people with a voice problem, their voice impression is misleading and easily leads to a case of mistaken identity.
Before most of us meets a stranger face to face for the first time, their voice on the phone, creates our initital image of them. From their voice we often draw conclusions ( right or wrong) about their age, emotional or physical health and their physical persona.
When providing a seminar on voice, I often play a game with the audience, which involves matching voice types with famous people.Try it for yourself. Look at the list of famous people and match their voice with one of the descriptive words below:
Does your voice convey the image you want others to hear and see, or do you suffer from a case of mistaken identity?
I often remind my patients: "you are not your disease", but rather a person with: Parkinson's, MS, aphasia, etc. But when any of the symptoms of a disease, such as a weak or impaired voice or slurred speech, become the predominant thing people notice about you, the disease may have begun to steal your identity.
A tape recording of your voice, even a recording on your home answering machine may be a good first step to judging how others hear you. Better yet, have someone video tape you. If your first thought in seeing the video is: "that doesn't even sound/look like me," it's time to take action. It's not too late to do something about it. A visit with a speech-language pathologist or voice therapist may help you identify methods to strengthen your voice and improve the way you sound to others. You might also want to tape the following affirmation on your bathroom mirror:
"I sound GREAT!"
Say it every time you see it. Say it like you mean it. Say it with a smile. Fake it till you make it!