Deep conversations are hard.

Being a great conversationalist is an underrated skill. Not just good - great.

Some people are just born with the ability, and obviously, some people are born to never have that (meanwhile, the rest are just born.)

The thing is, having a great conversation can be especially difficult if you’re naturally low-energy, if you’re shy, or perhaps if you’re just downright picky about who you talk to. (For the last one, these people usually fall under “elitist” or “racist”.)

For those of you who do want to carry a great conversation but just don’t know how to - hey, it’s okay. Just take a look in the mirror and think: “Do I have a deep voice?”

Because if you do, well, here’s bad news: NOTHING can help you.

(For those of you without a deep voice, you can still be saved.)

Personally, I can be a terrible person to talk to at times. My energy comes in waves, I take a while to warm up to people, I don’t make the first move, and the final low blow - I have a very deep voice.

Yes. As if the first three factors weren’t enough, my voice is so low it would win plenty of limbo contests.

Having a low voice makes talking to other people very tricky. They can’t really hear you properly most of the time when you’re speaking normally, and that’s because you just sound like you’re murmuring.

I get it! You’re not murmuring! You just have a deep voice.

But the thing is, other people with normal-people medium- and high-pitched voices won’t understand.

So you try and help make things easier when you talk with them. You raise your voice in an effort to let them hear you better. But here’s the thing about raising your voice - it just ends up being like a soft shout.

Have you noticed how, the more you raise your volume, the more you lose control over the tonality of how you speak? It just ends up sounding like you want to yell and even as if you’re on the verge of tears but you’re holding all that emotion back.

Someone could be asking you how’s the weather: it’s actually completely pleasant and you’re very happy to be out, but to make sure they hear you, you remember to raise your voice.

And what is supposed to be a happy statement ends up becoming a bellowing declaration of no emotion.

“IT IS A FINE AND SUNNY DAY. SUCH A GREAT DAY TO BE OUT.”

That's right. You end up going all verbal caps-lock on them, and your friends end up cringing, confused at why you’re suddenly a loud-hailer. They were just asking about the weather! There's need to yell!

So you might be asking now, “Why don’t you practise changing your voice to something more, you know... mid-range?"

Here's the thing, fellas:

  • I have tried.
  • Are you asking me to live the rest of my life speaking in falsetto?

Ladies and gentlemen, me and my voice, Mr. Baritone, would like to tell you that changing your voice is not easy, and he does not appreciate you wanting him to undergo an identity crisis.

And, as if a deep voice wasn’t embarrassing enough, we haven’t talked about the repetitions.

Oh, the repetitions.

That’s every deep-voiced person’s worst nightmare. The most embarrassing part about not being heard properly the first time round isn’t that you were misheard or have a weird voice - it’s what comes afterwards.

You end up repeating yourself, the first time in the same voice but just 10-20% louder…

But they still don't catch what you just said.

So once more, with a louder and consequently less-controlled voice, you repeat yourself again the second time… and the third time…

And that's it. That's it.

You see, repetitions, they never go past three times.

Three. That’s all the chances you have. Anything more than that? Four times would just be impolite. It has never happened in the history of humankind.

You see, at the third and last repetition, the other person will either have finally heard what you’re saying clearly (and perhaps gone slightly deaf from the close-contact yelling), or even worse: you two have exchanged a fake nod of acknowledgment that what has been said is finally heard.

But in reality? It’s a nod of agreement that this whole situation has just gotten too awkward to keep repeating.

I think the only sensible thing left to do for deep-voiced people like me is for us to constantly carry around helium-filled balloons, and that we are made to inhale the gas before talking to anyone. That way, we'll have a higher voice everyone can hear clearly, plus everyone gets a laugh. Solved!

Now, what are the long-term effects of having too much helium in your body? I don’t know, but hey, at least we’ll be having better conversations.

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