How Women Maximize Vocal Vitality–and Influence Business

This week’s Front Porch Video. (2:50)

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey there, it’s Susan Young, on the front porch for our video this Friday. I hope you had a really good week!

Wanted to share this tidbit with you. I saw this today on TheLadders.com; there was a study about the fact that women’s voices have dropped by 23 hertz. Our voices are deeper now than in the past. The study comes from Australia where they monitored the voice recordings of women between the ages of 18 and 25.

Experts listened to recordings of women from 1945. Then they compared those pitches to women speaking in the 1990s. Researchers discovered that the women’s pitches had dropped by 23 hertz. So, they’re saying that women these days want to have deeper voices because it shows dominance and authority which can play well into our business communication.

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In fact, Margaret Thatcher, when she was running for prime minister in Britain, took vocal lessons so that she could lower her pitch. Thatcher went on to win the election. Maybe the subtle change in her pitch played a role in her victory.

Now that more women are working, we find that how we sound and how we deliver our messages are important. I remember working in radio and because I have also a voice that’s not as shrill and high pitched as other women. It was an advantage because it’s more pleasant to listen to a lower pitched voice, which changes slightly because of broadcast filters and transmission.

Researchers also say that if a man owns a plumbing company—a male dominated industry—that a woman should record the message on the answering machine or voicemail. Why? Women sound friendlier and more trustworthy than a man’s voice on the machine.

Here’s one last interesting story which is about Joyce Meyer, the minister and author. She’s around 70 years old. When she first began her career, she says she was very self-conscious about her voice because it was naturally deep. She was concerned about how she sounded on her radio programs. This actually played to an advantage because people thought they were listening to a man. Then she said her name. It was the deep distinctive voice—and message—that kept people’s attention and helped Joyce stand out amongst the crowd.

Think about how you sound and how you can use your voice and vocal vitality in a positive way. Not saying to change and try to be like a man but try to identify your weaknesses and strengths and play to those strengths.

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