What do I sound like?

I hear my voice every day. Several people do as well. I know how it sounds, and so do they.

Recently, I purchased a webcam for an online Speech class i’m taking through the local community college. After setting it up, I ran a small test to make sure it was running alright.

Hearing my recorded voice was almost like hearing a stranger. I hear my voice when I speak, and it doesn’t sound like that. I hear my voice when the room echoes, and it doesn’t sound like the recording but my friend says the recording is spot on.

What is this phenomenon?

What do I sound like? The recording, or…not? And if both, why do they sound different to me?

Thanks in advance.

You sound more like the recording to other people. When you speak, a couple of phenonena distort your voice. First, sound conducts differently through bone than air–it does not conduct as well in bone for one thing. Secondly, there is a reflexive contraction of muscles (tensor tympani and stapedius) attached to the bones of the middle ear when you speak. This dampens their vibration, decreasing the sound you would otherwise hear when you speak.