Research shows that people generally prefer deep voices. Many women have gone to great lengths to change their voice. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher enlisted the services of a vocal coach to deepen her voice so she could sound more authoritative.
A study conducted by Cecilia Pemberton at the University of South Australia found that women today speak with deeper voices than their mothers and grandmothers. Why? One of the leading reasons is the power dynamics between men and women. With women occupying more positions of power than in previous decades, many have found that lowering their pitch tends to command more attention in the workplace.
Here are some other interesting facts about your voice:
- If you have a sore throat and are trying to go easy on your throat, whispering is actually harder on your voice than speaking in a normal tone because whispering forces your vocal cords to squeeze together.
2. People often trust lower voices. You speak at a higher pitch when you are nervous or uncertain. This may be why lower voices tend to be associated more with confidence and authority.
Are you a fast talker? Consider this…
3. Speaking at a steady pace can command more attention from listeners because they hear each word and can follow along with ease. It also lets the listener know the importance of your words. Speaking quickly sends a subconscious message to listeners that your speech is rushed because what you have to say is not important.
4. Inflammation of your vocal cords is usually the reason why you may lose your voice. This is often caused by laryngitis.
5. Your voice sounds “nasal” when you have a cold because of the lack of airflow through your nose as you speak.
6. Your voice may provide some key details about you. Some studies show that listeners who hear voice samples can deduce the speaker’s socioeconomic status, personality traits “and emotional and mental state attributes related to deception.” Listeners were also able to estimate the age, height, and weight of speakers with some accuracy based on voice alone.
7. Singers train their vocal cords much like athletes train their bodies for high performance.
8. Over 70 million people worldwide stutter, which works out to be 1 in every 100.
9. Listen to your mother. Studies show that hearing their mother’s voice reduced the level of cortisol, the stress hormone in a child and increased oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and love.
10. The sound of your voice is a combination of genes, the size and shape of your vocal cords, and, interestingly, the size and shape of the rest of your body.
11. Women’s vocal cords perform more than one million oscillatory cycles a day while men’s complete about half a million a day.
12. Tim Storms set the world record with a 10-octave range. Mariah Carey has a range of five octaves.
13. Can’t stand the sound of your own voice? That’s because there are vibrations in your mouth when you speak that others do not hear. So when you listen to a recording of your voice, you may sound strange to yourself and you may notice that your voice sounds higher than what you hear as you speak.
Do you notice yourself deliberately lowering your voice in certain settings? Share your thoughts!