Is it possible to change the monotonous voice tone?

Page 1 of 1 [ 10 posts ] 

LittleSwallow
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2011
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 116

26 Jun 2012, 6:10 am

I can't speak for all Aspies, but all I know is that I, and from what I read on here some other Aspies too, have the unfortunate voice that, from my experiance, is something that "you can't listen to!" (Quoting one person from my school who I overheard and my friend agreed with him) :( :(

I have been doing these voice exercises but will they work if I tried hard enough?

Or am I stuck with a voice that will lose me my friends or cause people to block me out of conversations? :(



C0MPAQ
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 10 Dec 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 298

26 Jun 2012, 6:39 am

I think those people are giving you the wrong impression. I love monotonous voices, they are easier to listen to, and there is no reason someone can't listen to them. When someone uses exaggerated/extreme intonation though it becomes very hard for me to follow and it can just be very distracting (opposed to just allegedly boring with monotonous voices).

Maybe what those people are referring to is rather that you don't speak clearly enough or that you make unusual/too-short pauses between words. Recording your voice and listening to it can help a lot.

Better you use no intonation than exaggerated or 'fudged' intonation in my opinion. I have listened to some people who did speech exercises and although they seemingly did it correctly, their speech was hard to comprehend or even impossible to follow and sounded very artificial, even worse than speech synthesis programs.

Edit:
This is a good example how speech can become difficult to listen to to me: 5 common mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas!). Notice the unusual pauses and irratic pitch changes in the speech. I guess she did one of those speech courses because English isn't her native language. Better keep you accent or keep speaking too fast than to exert some weird artificial rule-based control over your voice in my opinion.


_________________
I was banned 1 minute after creating a thread which criticized the moderation, by mentioning issues like political censorship, social problems and problems of autism unfriendliness, especially in the chat.

Please contact me on http://aspiefriends.net


Last edited by C0MPAQ on 26 Jun 2012, 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joe90
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,756
Location: Maidstone, UK

26 Jun 2012, 7:00 am

I don't speak in monotone to everyone, but there are some people who I do, and they are types of people who are nice but I'm slightly nervous of at the same time, especially if they are rather domineering or patronising. But this is only because the muscles at the back of my neck all clench up without me knowing how to relax them, and quite a loud, low, monotone voice sounds. That really aches my throat when talking in monotone for too long, since it doesn't sound natural to me, since most of the time I do speak with normal tone.


_________________
Female
Aged 30
On antidepressants
Diagnosed with AS, ADHD and anxiety disorder


Tuttle
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,088
Location: Massachusetts

26 Jun 2012, 8:00 am

It is possible to at least change it some, even if it always sounds somewhat different. I just don't know how long it would take - for me I did speech therapy for about a decade anyways and adding intonation was only a small part of it.

Based off of my ST, what people care about most is whether you properly have tone rise when asking a question or such. If you just train yourself on that, you sound a lot more natural, and that can be trained to not be something you think about.



Greb
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 May 2012
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 964
Location: Under the sea [level]

26 Jun 2012, 8:23 am

I don't know if that would be useful for you, but what I did to handle this problem, more than struggling to sound different, was to build my style around it. It has a very specific name in English: it's called "deadpan" and works very well with a serious and monotone (up to a point) voice. Instead of trying to smile and sound lively (I really can't smile) I exagerated the serious/ironnic aspect, usually with a occasional half-smile. People like it (as long as you can use some sense of humour). Basically you get the label 'eccentric but smart and funny'. Honestly I would prefer to be labelled like 'hot, sexy and Motherf***er', but not always you can get everything you want.



Robdemanc
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 May 2010
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,872
Location: England

26 Jun 2012, 8:33 am

I can employ a non monotone voice at times. But it is an act and requires effort. Also I think it is linked to how I am feeling and the fact that most of the conversations people have are boring because its the same old stuff over and over:

"The weathers terrible isn't it?", "Did you see x-factor?", "How is work?", "What did you do at the weekend?"



SilkySifaka
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,396
Location: UK

26 Jun 2012, 8:33 am

Greb wrote:
I don't know if that would be useful for you, but what I did to handle this problem, more than struggling to sound different, was to build my style around it. It has a name in English, it's called "deadpan". And honestly, it works very well. People like it. Basically you get the label 'Eccentric but smart and funny'. Honestly I would prefer to be labelled like 'hot, sexy and Motherf***er', but not always you can get everything you want.


This. People say to me 'You should be a comedian'.

I've tried very hard to make my voice more 'normal' particularly as I often work in customer service and so it is important not to sound bored. I've spent a long time listening to people speaking on the TV and trying to imitate them. I've managed to make my voice sound less monotonous, but I can't do anything about the pitch and I still sound quite childlike.



ToughDiamond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 67
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,342

26 Jun 2012, 10:44 am

I'm sure it's possible to train your voice to give it a more listenable inflection. Like has already been said, recording yourself and playing it back is very helpful. But don't take the resuts of the first recording too seriously. When I first tried, I found that just knowing I was recording myself made me mumble even more - some kind of reluctance kicked in - and I thought I'd never get any better.

I think it also helps to listen to professional speakers, like story readers and actors. Many Aspies are excellent copycats and the vocal techniques tend to rub off on you. And listen to amateur speakers too, if you can. The kind who upload free audiobooks. They're less polished, but they're normal people, so you know that if you can just get it as good as they do, which doesn't look all that hard, you're no longer abnormal in that respect.



Greb
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 9 May 2012
Age: 48
Gender: Male
Posts: 964
Location: Under the sea [level]

26 Jun 2012, 11:01 am

SilkySifaka wrote:
This. People say to me 'You should be a comedian'.

I've tried very hard to make my voice more 'normal' particularly as I often work in customer service and so it is important not to sound bored. I've spent a long time listening to people speaking on the TV and trying to imitate them. I've managed to make my voice sound less monotonous, but I can't do anything about the pitch and I still sound quite childlike.


I got this advice a couple of times too :D

I used to watch those late shows with interviews that usually are a bit unhibited to imitate them. Specially with people that have this kind of 'serious'/deadpan sense of humour. Watching the voice tone, the timing (timing is absolutelly important), the gestures (I'd kill in exchange of being able to raise just one eyebrow! :D ), the gaze, and even imitating it in front of the mirror. But my favourite keep being some British comedies (I absolutelly love the feeling that gives the character played by Alan Rickman in Love Actually).

At the end this serious/monotone stuff is very related to expectations. People think that you are boring if you sound monotonous. And asperger can be the new cool, but boring is definitely not. However, if you speak with confidence and make some kind of humourous/witty comment, people become suddenly shocked. It's like a 'Hey, what's happening here?'. The basic problem with it is... you must sound always smart (a close friend told me once that it looked like I had some scriptwriters preparing the dialogue). And this is exhausting. You get the social success, but the price is being always focused, never relaxed, when you are with other people.



Last edited by Greb on 26 Jun 2012, 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

bernerbrau
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 7 Jun 2012
Age: 38
Gender: Male
Posts: 73

26 Jun 2012, 11:10 am

I used to try and vary my tone to sound more interesting, but the overwhelming consensus from everyone I spoke to was that it made me sound gay.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but I've been quite happily married for going on four years now.

I've since decided to stick to the deadpan because it's more in line with my personality anyway.