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Old 25.11.2011, 00:10
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Voice

Inspired by a few insightful threads regarding emotions and place in society and employment, I was wondering about the impact that a "voice" has on others.

The other day, while listening to a rather elegant woman, I couldn't figure why I was having so much difficulty hearing her words, in the sense of absorbing the information. Then I realized that her high-pitched feathery voice was diverting my attention from what she was actually saying.

I have a preference for low pitched lilting voices and tend to better pay attention.

Does the sound and natural pitch of a voice have an impact on your opinion of a person ?

Does it affect employment possibilities, relationships etc ?
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Old 25.11.2011, 00:44
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Re: Voice

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Inspired by a few insightful threads regarding emotions and place in society and employment, I was wondering about the impact that a "voice" has on others.

The other day, while listening to a rather elegant woman, I couldn't figure why I was having so much difficulty hearing her words, in the sense of absorbing the information. Then I realized that her high-pitched feathery voice was diverting my attention from what she was actually saying.

I have a preference for low pitched lilting voices and tend to better pay attention.

Does the sound and natural pitch of a voice have an impact on your opinion of a person ?

Does it affect employment possibilities, relationships etc ?
I agree with you.

During business meetings, high pitched voices or laughters give me headache and pain in the ears. My mood will be affected too. However I cannot blame the person, therefore I make an effort by writing down the meetings points in order to distract the annoyance and to fully concentrate in the meeting (which I don't normally like to do as eye contact is essential). In general, the most important thing is that the person must articulate well in a professional situation or else it is almost impossible to carry a full length discussion.

In my opinion (then again I might be wrong), people tend to accosiate a person with high pitched voice to a child. Therefore he/she might not be treated seriously in a professional point of view. In a relationship point of view, he/she will be seen as a boy/girl and if his/her other half likes maturity, then maybe this relationship might not be heading towards an optimistic direction.

But of course at the end of the day, there are much more to a person than just his/her voice.
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Old 25.11.2011, 09:17
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Re: Voice

I can give you the example of my OH. He has a pretty deep voice when he speaks German (I have noticed that even I change tone of voice when changing language).

When he came to visit me in the office for the first time, my colleagues had a shock. Because he has such a deep voice on the phone, they imagined a 40 year old, tall, fancy banker (their words). He's a short, soft faced guy who looks 10 years younger than he is (as in, he is sometimes asked for ID to buy alcohol).

So, at least in men, deep voices seem to trigger trusting, tall, strong, powerful men in people's imagination...
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Old 25.11.2011, 09:26
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Re: Voice

Ladies with nasal, shrill or reedy voices.

We had a Classics teacher who had such a voice and it used to set my teeth on edge before she'd even opened her gob.

A friend of mine in the UK has got a naturally "sexy" voice, deep and breathy without even trying. She works as an emergency services operator and we often joke that the callers she gets suddenly don't care that their house is burning down or their car is wrapped around a lamppost...
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Old 25.11.2011, 09:27
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Re: Voice

If the (female) speaker has assets up front and a beautiful face, her words will be about the last thing to register in my neolithic mind.

I would have been great at French at grammar school; Mr. Dansie was a great teacher. He retired after our first year and then came Jane Sanderson. French was really not just about language after that. She had a road accident and broke about 33 hearts when she could no longer teach after that. Point proven.
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Old 25.11.2011, 09:29
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Re: Voice

More regarding volume than tone, my wife is always accusing me of shouting when in my opinion I'm not (she's typically Swiss - anything more than a whisper is shouting).

For a species that has developed a varied and complex form of communication, I believe it is a cardinal sin, if someone ever says to me that they didn't hear what I said correctly, or misunderstood through not hearing (obviously this also involves what is being said too).

Conversely, when I really want someone to listen attentively to what I'm saying, a technique is to speak slowly and softly.
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Old 25.11.2011, 09:34
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Re: Voice

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More regarding volume than tone, my wife is always accusing me of shouting when in my opinion I'm not (she's typically Swiss - anything more than a whisper is shouting).
Can you send her round to ours and remind my Swiss husband of that fact. I don't think he got the memo.
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Old 25.11.2011, 10:03
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Re: Voice

In any semi-serious psych test I always got the result that I process the world chiefly in an auditory way. I am extremely sensitive to another’s tone of voice. I can’t even begin to describe how deeply I am touched by beautiful soft voices, male or female alike. It was with our long telephone conversations that my OH completely melted me.
As for low pitch or high pitch, I am not very particular. Both can be beautiful.

This is too high, though. It comes from Singing in the Rain, the actress is looking to make a transition from silent to talking movies. She’s not cut out for that somehow.




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Old 25.11.2011, 10:08
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Re: Voice

If you're multi-lingual, I've noticed the language you speak has an influence on the timbre of your voice and... not necessarily on your personality, but how you're perceived. My voice is much lower when I speak French and Russian, so I tend to be taken more seriously when speaking those. When speaking English, my voice is higher pitched and I have an American accent, so I find the mood becomes relaxed much quicker and it takes longer to be taken seriously. With humor it's also tricky. I've learned to not apply my sense of humor across the board, since sarcasm that would be understood right away when speaking English sometimes leaves French or Russian speakers dumbfounded.

This is also the case with many friends of mine who grew up in multi-cultural environment speaking several languages, when speaking with them in a language I'm not used to, it's almost like speaking to a different person. It's different from people who grew up speaking one language and learned the others later in life. With my girlfriend it's also kind of strange: we began our relationship speaking almost exclusively French (although we're both bilingual). Recently it's become 40% English, 60% French. But if a discussion becomes serious or if we get into an argument, it just doesn't work in English, we don't respond to each other's voices in same way. If she starts yelling at me with her English accent, I hear Eliza Doolittle "Oy'm a good girl oy am!" and she hears an American fratboy going "Duuuuuuuude!" Just doesn't work. So whenever "s**t gets real", I find we have to switch to French.

Edit: And since we're on beautiful soft voices, if you want a perfect example of this phenomenon in combination with what I described, see Charlotte Gainsbourg. Her French voice I can take or leave, but hearing her speak English is like audio porn for me.

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Old 25.11.2011, 12:06
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Re: Voice

Sagitta, you are so right. A beautiful warm caring voice carries promise.

Russkov too, I fully agree, our voices do change in different languages, even in the same language in different environments.

My voice at the office is low and clear and slightly continental (no location) and yet when I'm with friends or in a musical environment my long lost American accent will surface.
I absolutely can not hear myself (but am tuned in to others) so I can't perceive my own voice.

Voice is important to me, I do believe we smile with our voices.

Do you think it can impact interviews and employment ?
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Old 25.11.2011, 12:11
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Re: Voice

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I have a preference for low pitched lilting voices and tend to better pay attention.
and I thought we were friends...
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Old 25.11.2011, 12:13
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Re: Voice

Voice plays a major role in communications. I believe that there are many pitch/tone/volume/style effects of the human voice that convey much more information to the listeners than the words themselves.

Many persons in high power perhaps have less concrete to offer in their position, however a good voice and projection puts them ahead of others in the game.

One example I can think of is US presidential candidate Ron Paul. Not the best public speaker, not the typical presence of a potential President. However I believe his ideas and debates are far superior to his competitors as well as the fact that he is not know to use a speach writer, rather speaks freely and un-scripted. Because of this he is not taken as seriously as some of his more charming well-read collegues.
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Old 25.11.2011, 12:37
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Re: Voice

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and I thought we were friends...
Latinas to "voices" is like Russians to "spending a social gatherings without being excessively intoxicated". It's a battle lost early in life and we should quickly realize it won't be one of our most liked qualities.
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Old 25.11.2011, 13:33
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Re: Voice

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Latinas to "voices" is like Russians to "spending a social gatherings without being excessively intoxicated". It's a battle lost early in life and we should quickly realize it won't be one of our most liked qualities.
that's a pretty subjective thing to say and it's completely not true for a lot of people...

i was just teaching a class to a room full of suits here and they were all complimenting me on how nice it was to hear my voice throughout the class...
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Old 25.11.2011, 13:50
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Re: Voice

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that's a pretty subjective thing to say and it's completely not true for a lot of people...
You'd almost think it's a joke or something.
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i was just teaching a class to a room full of suits here and they were all complimenting me on how nice it was to hear my voice throughout the class...
The counter example and red blob shows that you have no insecurities whatsoever in relation to this subject.
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Old 25.11.2011, 14:05
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Re: Voice

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You'd almost think it's a joke or something.The counter example and red blob shows that you have no insecurities whatsoever in relation to this subject.
no, the counter example and red blob shows that i get annoyed with people who make stupid comments regarding culture or language with nothing to back them up. and wtf, i have a right to.

i almost gave one for the stupid comment you made about indians(without knowing what you are talking about) and i didn't. you think that by covering offensive comments in a joke that it makes you edgy- it doesn't. and am i sensitive to language and voice issues? yup but for issues very different than you assume.
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Old 25.11.2011, 14:13
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Re: Voice

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Latinas to "voices" is like Russians to "spending a social gatherings without being excessively intoxicated". It's a battle lost early in life and we should quickly realize it won't be one of our most liked qualities.
I'm not totally sure I understand this sentence. Are you saying that the voice of "Latinas", which is usually used to define women of Latin American origins, but I guess you mean to include all women with a latinic main language, are not be liked by their voices?

I know we speak loud and fast, but I have yet to hear anyone complaining about the sound of our accent/language/voice...
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Old 25.11.2011, 14:19
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Re: Voice

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no, the counter example and red blob shows that i get annoyed with people who make stupid comments regarding culture or language with nothing to back them up. and wtf, i have a right to.

i almost gave one for the stupid comment you made about indians(without knowing what you are talking about) and i didn't.
I qualified that comment and explained what I quoted in that thread, and what I believed the point behind it was. It wasn't simply to offend and I believe I was clear in my explanation. And you're calling them "indians", way to be politically correct.
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you think that by covering offensive comments in a joke that it makes you edgy- it doesn't. and am i sensitive to language and voice issues? yup but for issues very different than you assume.
I'm hurt. Not as much as my ears would have been if you yelled that, but still...
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I'm not totally sure I understand this sentence. Are you saying that the voice of "Latinas", which is usually used to define women of Latin American origins, but I guess you mean to include all women with a latinic main language, are not be liked by their voices?

I know we speak loud and fast, but I have yet to hear anyone complaining about the sound of our accent/language/voice...
I have. That's not to say I agree with it in most of the cases. Or, like I said, that it was meant to be that serious. Still, anyone that's ever gotten a tongue-lashing from a Latin American lady will tell you that nothing quite compares...
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Old 25.11.2011, 14:30
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Re: Voice

hahahaha... indians is politically incorrect- hmmm, there is a lot you need to learn or at least stop commenting on if you don't know. you should come visit where my family is sometime and tell them that ...

and i guess there is a reason why you've only heard tongue lashing and yelling from latinas- given your comments it seems to make sense
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Old 25.11.2011, 14:41
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Re: Voice

I'm gettign confused... Which indians are we talking about? The India indians or the Native-American indians?

*I love my mother tongue! we have 2 distinct words for that!*
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