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Who Wins the GOP Presidential Candidacy Based on Speech and Voice Alone? March 1, 2012

Posted by lyndastucky in Communication.
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Did You Vote Yet?

TV and radio are jam-packed with political figures vying for your attention. Ever considered who might win, if the vote was based solely on speech and voice quality? 

Click here to listen to a clip of the four candidates. As you listen, pay attention to these characteristics:

  1. What words are emphasized?
  2. What is their tone?
  3. Who sounds confident?
  4. Who sounds interesting and engaging?
  5. Do they have a signature quality (related to speech and voice) that makes them stand out?

Who would you vote for, just based on voice these characteristics?  Click here to take our survey.

Now, I’ll cast my vote based on speech and voice quality only (not political views).

Ron Paul uses an upward inflection of his voice at the end of a sentence (“Uptalk”).  Listen to the first three statements. He states him name and talks about himself almost like he is reading a grocery list. This can create the perception of not being confident about the message. His rate and his clear diction are his strengths.

Rick Santorum sounds relaxed and friendly. However, a relaxed voice also can be perceived as not excited or passionate. He has clear diction and clear vocal tone. He does mess up by inserting a word filler (“uh”) in his introduction. 

Mitt Romney sounds vocally tense. If you compare his voice to Santorum’s you can hear the difference in tension. His rate, his pausing, and his diction are well rehearsed.  He is vocally expressive and vocally interesting, even though the tension is present.

Newt Gingrich sounds nasal and flat.  His overall pitch level is higher than most men.  Although there is some pitch variation, he doesn’t inflect much. However, he speaks at an excellent pace and delivers with authority.

Based on this small sample, I cast my vote for Mitt Romney. This is because the combination of his speech and voice characteristics made him commanding with a touch of friendliness. His delivery helped me believe that he is knowledgeable. If I were his voice coach though, I would try to eliminate his vocal tension. Voice tension can create the perception of defensiveness. 

What do you think?  Leave me a message!

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