I’ve noticed a lot of nerds, including myself sometimes, tend to talk in a pinched, nasal tone. This is something that women do not find attractive. Women like deep, manly voices. You don’t have to sound like Darth Vader, but you do need some depth and some bass in your voice.
If you have a high or nasal voice, don’t fret. It’s not something you’re born with, but a bad habit that you can change. All you have to do is stop using your nose so much and let the rest of your vocal apparatus do some of the work. Here’s what I’ve learned from celebrity vocal coach John Deaver:
Sound is produced by air from your diaphragm being pushed across the vocal chords, but there are three main places where sound can vibrate, and all of these play a role in shaping the sound:
- The nose and sinuses.
- The mouth.
- The chest and throat.
Your first instinct might be to say “Ok, I’ll push all the sound into my throat and talk with a really deep voice”, but that would either make you sound fake or stupid. This is because you can’t articulate the vowel sounds with the throat.
The trick is to find a balance between all three. The chest resonates and provides depth and fullness, the mouth provides clear articulation and a natural buzzing vibration, and the nose and sinuses provide the occasional high pitch or nasal consonant.
Here is an exercise that you can do every day to retrain your voice:
- Start with a low hum to get the feel of chest resonance. Do this for a couple of minutes to get warmed up.
- Pinch your nose and talk or read out loud. You’ll feel when the sound starts trying to go up into your nose, and you’ll be able to pull it back toward the throat.
Do this every day for a few minutes, ideally in the morning, since your voice is naturally lower at that time, and it’ll help you set the tone for the rest of the day. Then, throughout the day, listen to yourself talking, and try to subtly move the sound away from the nose and sinuses and more towards the chest and throat. Over time, this will become a habit, and it will sound completely natural without you having to think about it.