An Israeli company, eXaudios has developed a computer program, Magnify, which analyzes the human voice to identify a person’s emotional state in order to assist customer service representatives.
“Magnify works by teasing apart a person’s voice, separating the frequencies and measuring various qualities of those wavelengths, such as their intonation and intensity…When Discovery News’ technology correspondent’s voice was decoded using the Magnify software, the output read like a psychologist’s notebook: ’Struggling to contain an inner excitement. Keeping emotions and/or creativity in check. Warm and fuzzy’”(eXaudios).
The human voice reveals the majority of our emotions. Human speech consists of three different components; pitch, tone, and rate. Pitch is defined as the high or low of your voice perceived by your ear. Tone is the variation of pitch while speaking. Rate is the tempo or speed of your voice.
eXaudios’s computer program capitalizes on an automatic human response. People are constantly forming opinions and analyzing information from the way words are said in the human voice. It would be incredibly difficult to understand the meaning of a conversation with someone or the emotions in a TV show or movie without the ability to interpret voice. Imagine how uninteresting it would be watching a romance or drama without the ability to understand the variety of rate, pitch and tone that emotions such as excitement, lust, love or fear create in the human voice.
How attractive a person appears has also been proven to be associated with the pitch, tone and rate of his/her voice when speaking. Research has shown that the characteristics of an attractive voice, just like an attractive face, are universally unanimous (e.g. The Evolutionary Psychology of Facial Beauty, The attractive voice: What makes it so?, and Precursors of interpersonal expectations: The vocal and physical attractiveness stereotypes by M. Zuckerman). For example, studies have shown that women with higher pitched voices and men with lower pitched voices are more appealing (High pitched voices are most attractive). We have control of the rate, tone and, to an extent, the pitch of our speech. Your voice is a tool that you can use to increase your level of attractiveness; you must practice how to control it, improve it, and use it correctly.
Five basic tips for using speech to increase perceived attractiveness:
-Breathe from your diaphragm and speak from your chest for a more attractive, strong and natural sound. The pitch of your voice is altered from where it originates. When you breathe from your diaphragm (lower chest/stomach), you will automatically use that air while you are speaking. For more information please visit this Web site: Diaphragm speaking.
-Use the rate/tempo of your speech and volume of your voice to emphasize emotions and capture attention. For example, speed up and speak louder when talking about something exciting and slow down and speak softer when you want to capture attention and emphasize a point.
-Vary tone during an approach. Focus on positive, fun, confident and sarcastic tones and avoid negative tones (whining, blaming, etc.). Study how actors in movies and on TV change their tone to suggest importance, create a question, display sexual interest, excitement, sarcasm, disbelief, etc.
-Articulate each word, don’t speak too fast (your rate), and project (using the strength of your diaphragm breathing to produce a full and loud sound) your voice so that the person or people with whom you are speaking with can hear and understand what you are trying to say.
-Mimic the other person(‘s) conversational pitch, tone and rate to create deeper rapport. For example, if the other person becomes excited, copy his/her change in rate and volume, or vice versa if the person is relaxed, speak slower and at a lower volume.
Recording your voice while practicing various pitches, rates and tones is the best way to become more aware of how you sound and how it makes others feel. Start listening and analyzing movies, TV shows and other people in conversation. You’ll begin to be able to observe how specific combinations of pitches, rates and tones create an overall perception of personality and attractiveness.
In the next article, Part 3, I will discuss the 7 percent portion of an interaction, what you actually say.
Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, is a freelance writer and a private relationship-and-social-dynamics coach in the areas of public health, fitness, and social dynamics, a writer and editor for Ask Men.com, and the interpersonal relationships columnist for knotmove.com. His passion lies in guiding and providing tools to men for overall self-improvement. His debut men’s self-help guide, The Essentials, is now available on Amazon.com (The Essentials by Benjamin Ritter).
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*Edited by Rachel Ritter