There are myriad ways our voices are recorded these days, from a simple Skype call or Google Hangout, to intentionally putting yourself in front of a crowd via YouTube or Twitch. Heck, you might clam up making requests of Siri or Cortana.
While confidence is key and takes time to build, there are a couple of steps you can take on your aural (and oral) journey.
#3 Fake It Till You Make It
In the short term, there isn’t much you can do other than getting on with it. Talking over a microphone to someone is certainly less personal, but it’s still a conversation, especially with video chat.
Stop thinking of it as a performance or presentation, which should help relive pressure you might be putting on yourself. Need a distraction? Concentrate on enunciation and volume.
Not sure what you’re going to say or how to phrase it? Then stop for a few seconds and consider your next sentence in full. This gives your brain a chance to “edit” your speech, just like you would an essay or letter.
If you’re recording and have the benefit of post-editing, that’s even better — you’ll have the chance to pick out your finest work and if you’re up for it, getting critiques from friends.
#2 It’s All About Quality Tools
You already have a false impression of your “analogue” voice, so don’t make the same mistake with your digital one. In terms of hardware, there are good options no matter your budget, from studio-level, to the less ambitious.
Also be mindful of how you record. If disk space isn’t a concern, then just use a raw format, such as PCM (WAV files for the average user).
Otherwise, there’s nothing wrong with using MP3 or Vorbis at high bitrates (320Kb/s is very safe and some would argue overkill). If you’d rather avoid lossy compression, then FLAC is the best choice.
If you’re concerned about VoIP apps, including the likes of Mumble / Murmur, don’t be. Many make use of the excellent Opus codec, which does a great job of preserving audio quality in bandwidth-limited scenarios.
Bad compression may have been an issue in the past, making even the most baritone of speakers sound like a chipmunk, but that’s not the situation today.
High quality audio also has a strange way of making poor video “feel” better, so it’s worth getting this right if you have the option.
By LOGAN BOOKER
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