We’ve long maintained that how you say what you say is critical in your ability to persuade. Now new research from The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that one specific way to be more influential is by speaking slightly louder than you normally would, and by varying the overall volume of your voice (speaking both more loudly and softly, in turn). Tweet it!
“Every time we interact with someone, we’re trying to figure out how much they know about what they’re saying, how knowledgeable they are, how confident they seem,” said Jonah Berger, an associate professor of marketing at Wharton and a co-author of this study. “We found that the cues related to speaking volume made speakers seem more confident, which made them more persuasive overall.”
In our conversations, we think a lot about language, and a lot less about paralanguage — the means of delivery of our message. But whether we think about it or not, its effects are salient. So, the next time you debate whether to send an email or make a call consider this: Simply hearing someone’s voice can make their message more influential.
Are you conscious of how you use your voice when you try to persuade? Do you deliberately change the volume of your voice in order to influence? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
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