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Does Pitch Affect Your Communication?

Categories: Business Communication

I read an intriguing article in the Huffington Post: "Male CEOs With Deep Voices More Likely To Have Market Success, Study Says."

It isn’t the first time I’ve heard this type of information about deep voices. As political campaign managers have long known, a deep voice is perceived as a favorable leadership quality. People are instinctively more likely to trust a candidate with a deep voice.

Everything about you -- from your resume to your body language, to your wardrobe and your grooming, and even your voice -- are part of a complete package. That package does make a difference in how others perceive you, and ultimately affects how far you move ahead in your career.

Here’s a fascinating quote from Associate Professor Bill Mayew of Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, who conducted the study: "Our results advance a relatively new area of research known as biological economics, by documenting that a trait known to indicate success in biological competition is also associated with success in the competition for top corporate employment.”

If you don’t have a particularly deep, resonant voice, how can you compensate? Can you compensate?

Although voice training can make a difference, it won’t take you from Olive Oyl to Morgan Freeman. (Now there’s a voice! No wonder he was chosen to play God "Bruce Almighty".)

However, you can learn to control your pitch and bring it into a lower range.

Here's an exercise to lower your pitch ...

Say the following three sentences aloud, each time consciously speaking in a lower pitch:

  1. “This is my normal pitch.”
  2. “Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do.”
  3. “This is my normal voice.”

Can you hear a difference between the first and third sentence? It might feel awkward at first, but if you practice this exercise 10 times a day for six weeks, you will have much greater control over your pitch.

By the way, when we’re stressed our pitch tends to rise, so pay special attention when you're nervous!

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