Many of you may resonate with this statement “I don’t like hearing recordings of my own voice, I sound so different”. For as long as I can remember I hated hearing any recording of my voice. This isn’t unique to me, most people when hearing a recording of themselves will comment on how it sounds like someone else. So for me, whether it were an old telephone voicemail, or a random family video, I simply avoided any and all recording devices like the plague.
Then in the spring of 2018 I was invited to be a sofa guest on the Lesley Dolphin’s show on BBC Radio Suffolk. Everything inside was telling me “Don’t do it… run a mile”, but a small part of me wanted to challenge this fear, so I agreed to join Lesley for a chat. If I’m honest the experience was a blur, but I can distinctly remember Lesley putting me at ease, making the experience very enjoyable and saying these words to me “If you’ve enjoyed today you’ll probably get the radio bug”. How right was she!
This occasion triggered within me a previously unknown love of radio and I went on to train with ICR FM, presenting and producing my own weekly breakfast show for the station in 2019. Since then I’ve regularly appeared on Jon Wright’s BBC Radio Suffolk show, during 2020 I developed a weekly ‘Creative Catch-up’ and ‘Creative Christmas’ series. I’ve joined Matt Marvel and Sarah Lilley on air on many occasions and I’ve taken part in several radio takeovers. I even returned to the sofa (virtually) with Lesley earlier this year.
Developing and exploring the skill of speaking has opened doors for me in a way that I couldn’t have previously imagined. During the pandemic I created Makers Market From Home, an online platform for creatives to sell and showcase their work. My newfound voice allowed me to feel confident interviewing fellow makers & creatives and helped me to tell their stories to a wider audience. Having the opportunity to work alongside people, encouraging them to speak LIVE and challenge their own fears has been a real pleasure and honour.
So one question you may be thinking “Do I now like my voice?”, if I’m honest, not really. I really enjoy a LIVE chat and get a real buzz from these moments, probably much like any performer does. But I have to say that I tolerate my recorded voice and recognise that this distorted version of my voice is a necessary evil if I want to communicate with more people. But here’s a tip that may help someone in a similar position… if you don’t like hearing your own voice, don’t listen back to the appearances you make.
So far on this journey I’ve been so fortunate to work with organisations like Digital Craft Festival, First Light Festival in a presenting role, and I’ve even had the pleasure to host several make-along sessions with model-maker Jim Parkyn. This newfound confidence has allowed me to push forward and promote my own creative endeavours and projects by fellow creatives. I’ve even managed to pop up on local and national TV and radio.
All these amazing experiences came about because I challenged my own fears and insecurities. In doing so I now have the opportunities and platforms to share and communicate those topics that matter to me. You can see a full list of all the presenting and speaking roles I have been up to here
So by learning to like my voice… I actually found my voice.