When it comes to leadership selection, most people look at experience and past success.
Little did they realize how a person’s voice is altering the decision, unconsciously.
A research done in 2013 by a team from Duke University and the University of California shows that CEOs with deeper voices managed larger companies and thus made more money. A decrease of 25% in voice pitch (22.1 Hz) is associated with an increase of $187.000 in annual salary. Moreover, CEOS with deeper voices also enjoy longer tenures.
A research in 2002 looked at US presidential candidates between 1960 and 2000 found that in all eight elections, the candidate with the lower voice had won the popular vote.
A deeper voice is not only the secret advantage for male leaders. A study shows that deeper voiced women have an advantage over other women too, even when they are running for positions traditionally held by women, like the school board or PTA president.
What is it with a deeper voice that makes it such an advantage in leadership selection?
A deeper voice conveys credibility, competence and certainty, the key qualities needed in a leader.
Voice is not just a physical attribute, contrary to what most people think.
Voice does reflect who you are, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Our voice is very susceptible to our physical conditions. When you are sick, you sound different than when you are well. As we age, our voice also changes. Even within a month, research shows that a woman’s voice changes due to the influence of the menstrual period. Research done by the University at Albany even shows that a person’s voice can be used to predict such aspects of their body types as body configuration and bilateral symmetry, which can be further used to predict a person’s attractiveness and reproductive ability.
Our voice reflects our mental state. When you are nervous, it shows in your trembling, quivering or high-pitched voice. Your voice sounds different when you are stressed, compared to when you are calm and relaxed.
Your emotions are also reflected in your voice. That is why when you are on the phone, people at the other end can tell if you are happy, sad or angry. Our voice is a powerful interpretive tool in determining a person’s emotional state. A study from Ohio State University attests that our emotions can be heard in the voice.
Our voice, body, mind, and emotions are connected and constantly correspond with each other. Any changes in our body, mind, or emotions will result in changes in our voice production system, and thus changes in our voice.
Voice reflects who you can become.
The voice you were born with can be changed.
Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister, dropped her voice pitch by almost half an octave, from a screechy voice to a deeper voice, which was believed to help her rise to power.
There’s vast potential in your voice that’s beyond what you and most people know of.
When you develop your voice, you are developing your potential. When your voice is developed, it reflects the developed you, more confident, competent and credible.
Is a deeper voice the ultimate objective?
The biggest mistake most people make when trying to get a deep voice is to purposely lower their voice to sound credible or convincing.
Purposely lowering your voice is the result of pressing your vocal cords. It is not only the wrong way of using your voice, but also damaging to your vocal cords.
Your ultimate objective in using your voice as a secret advantage, however, is not to get a deep voice, but a full voice.
A full voice is a voice that’s projected with the full body. When you’ve developed a full voice, not only your voice pitch will go deeper, but also you will grow your potential tremendously and you’ll become more confident, feel more competent and sound more credible. Voice reflects what you can become.
To develop your full voice, apply for a 45-minute Create Breakthrough for Your Voice session with me and find out if I can support you.