How to Sound Authoritative and Charismatic

How to Sound Authoritative and Charismatic

Commentary on the Wall Street Journal article by Robert Lee Hotz

Financial advisors could take a cue from how successful politicians and business leaders talk. Researchers have found striking similarities in the voices of those who command persuasive power, the Wall Street Journal writes.

Conveying Authority Through Lower Pitch

While many of the acoustic elements of charismatic speakers are something they’re born with, people still have capacity to shape their speech to convey trustworthiness or dominance, according to the publication.

Speech alone doesn’t determine success, of course, the Journal writes. Researchers have found that some successful entrepreneurs don’t exhibit charismatic speech patters, according to the publication.

But research shows that CEOs with deeper voices helm larger firms, make more and stay on longer than those with higher-pitched voices, the Journal writes. In politics, several studies have found, candidates with lower-pitched voices attract more voters, according to the paper.

A deeper voice conveys dominances and charisma only for men, however, the Journal writes. Lowering their pitch can backfire for young women, Duke University accounting professor William Mayew, who’s researched how vocal pitch influences employment prospects and trustworthiness, tells the publication.

Male advisors who suspect their voice is too high, meanwhile, do have options. Singers and actors go through voice training to hit both higher and lower frequencies, UCLA acoustic scientist Rosario Signorello, tells the Journal. Those in leadership positions can do the same, she says, according to the publication.

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