Will You Be Alone If You Drone?

by Michael on April 21, 2010 · 0 comments

Your voice is important to you. To be a good conversationalist, great presenter and marvelous with the ladies, you have to be able to speak smoothly and clearly. But do you need to emote to attract a woman’s attention?

The Archives Of Sexual Behaviour says no. Their study (caution: scientific jargon inside) set up a “dating game” where different men competed for a woman’s affections by speaking both to her and each other, and the recordings were analyzed. The researchers found that men with less “fundamental frequency variation” tended to win the contest.

While the press has jumped on the angle that a “monotone” is the successful technique to attract females, I wouldn’t necessarily head out and start droning at women. Researchers said women also chose celebrities like George Clooney and Clint Eastwood as examples of seductive male voices. The thing is, while these actors don’t use a ton of really high or low variation in their voices, neither do they speak in a monotone. Listen first to Clooney:

Now here’s Clint:

The striking thing about their voices is that it’s actually not a monotone at all: while they don’t use a lot of tone for inflection, they both know how to use their “chest voice” to project, so that changes in tone are controlled and just enough to make the point. And what many of us would convey with tone they convey with pauses and pacing.

In other words, they know how to use their voices dramatically. (Which might explain a big reason both are not only esteemed actors, but also sought for voice-over work.)

If you can learn this, you’ll have a valuable tool to help you attract women from almost the first “hello.” Your stories will be more engaging and your voice itself will become a demonstration of value. You’ll also succeed at a higher level at work, especially if you’re called upon to make presentations. Here are a few tips for starting to whip your voice into shape:

Study recordings like the ones above for examples of inflection and pacing.

Practice speaking, and breathing, from the diaphragm.

Read aloud daily, record it and listen back.

Make sure you’re in a relaxed mode when you speak. Anxiety stresses the voice. If you need to calm yourself before speaking, do.

Practice speaking very quickly, very slowly, and at different pitches.

Practice makes perfect—both Clooney and Eastwood worked hard at it themselves—but the rewards will be worth it. And you’ll avoid being this guy:

Voice Correlates of Mating Success in Men: Examining “Contests” Versus “Mate Choice” Modes of Sexual Selection [SpringerLink.com]

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