Not just “that” voice, but your audio, verbal, out-of-your-actual-mouth voice?

Writers often talk about “finding your voice.” It’s the character of your writing, the style, how it comes across and how people perceive who you are through your writing.

Then there’s another voice. The audio, the wave-busting decibels that come from your vocal chords and into the eardrums of another person. I’ve heard from many a podcaster that they’ll be at a conference and people will come up to them and start talking to them as if they know them. Maybe they’ve written several books, but it’s usually when they have a podcast that the people “really get to know them.”

So what is it about the verbal, audio voice that resonates?

That’s just it. Did you catch the little play on words there? Resonate.

resonate: sure, there’s this: to amplify vocal sound by the sympathetic vibration of air in certain cavities and bony structures, but there’s also: to produce a positive feeling, emotional response, or opinion

“Positive feeling” or “emotional response.” As much as I’m a passionate reader and I can get as deep into a book as the next guy (well, deeper), audio has that added element of airwaves being bent, eardrums being touched and somehow it seeps into your brain and might touch your heart.

Slow down there, dragon fire! Audio can get in like that where words on a page can’t?


From an article in The Atlantic, Tiffanie Wen describes what so many of us audiophiles experience on a regular basis:

Listening to it on my drive home only got me to the middle of the episode, so I sat in my parked car staring at the garage until it was over. I was captivated by the voices of Emilie and her family. — Tiffanie Wen in Inside the Podcast Brain: Why Do Audio Stories Captivate?

Sure, I do that with a book sometimes if it’s really good and I just can’t stop. But I couldn’t hear the voices. They weren’t, literally, in my ears, in my head. They were in my imagination, but not tickling my eardrums.

Why is a phone call different from a letter or an email? Why do we listen to music–couldn’t we just read the words? It’s a different medium and I feel like I’m defending it. Maybe I’m proposing it. Maybe that’s what Thursday Thunder means to me. That rumbling of sound. Lightning is great and all: visual, fast and shocking. But then comes that resounding tumble of broken airwaves that you can feel, literally, in your heart.

This is a writer writing this. But I love audio and it needs to come out and thrive. Lightning has struck (and strikes all the time). It’s that follow-up thunder I’m interested in. That, and, well, it’s Thursday.

More Rumblings from the Sky

P.S. Audio is Forever

I have photos of my dad, memories galore and even some movies. But there is something about hearing his voice that brings me even closer. I only wish we had recorded some conversations so I could listen to them again and hear his voice come in through my eardrums and swirl around my heart.