On liking and empowering your own voice

Listening to my own voice used to pain me.  I avoided it.  Couldn't stand it.  It seemed too high. Too sweet.  And if I didn't remember to tuck my tongue in, there was a lisp.  Oh, how much I yearned for a deep booming voice.  So I could preach when I spoke.  Like M.L.K.

I started playing piano at the age of seven.  Kept at it through high school.  By the end, I typically practiced two to three hours a day.  My fingers could fly.  At times I dreamed of becoming a professional pianist.  Then reality would intrude.  You see, my hands were too small.  I could reach an octave.  Beyond that, I had to roll the chords.  I was good.  But could never truly be exceptional.

This was my fear as a young attorney.  That my feminine voice, like my small hands, would doom me in the quest to be the best trial lawyer that I could possibly be.

This insecurity was the by product of trying unsuccessfully to emulate male trial lawyer role models and icons.  Eventually I gave up on all of that.  Thank heavens!

Fast forward (a few decades)...

The voice that I worried about so much, is now a trusted and worthy friend.

Judy Shahn teaches a female trial advocacy class with me.  This video clip is of Judy in class this past weekend.