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Deeper voice means more salary: True or False?

deeper voiceDoes your boss have a deeper voice than you?  Could lowering your voice increase your annual income?

Even to pose the question seems ridiculous… particularly in light of all those years spent in MBA programs.   But that’s what a recent study may suggest.

“…researchers found that executives with voices on the deeper (that is, lower-frequency) end of the scale earned, on average, $187,000 more in pay…”

…from the finding published in the Wall Street Journal.

We may believe that our ideas are the most important element of being effective, successful and trusted….but the very sound of our voice may impact the outcome in a very real way.

So…if you buy the research…how do you deepen your voice?

Ways to get a deeper voice:

  1. Get to the GYM.  Exercise your range with the “vocal elevator”.  Think of an elevator that starts at the top follow and descends to the basement quickly and smoothly.  Take a breath and start with a high pitch and drop it to your lower pitch as you visualize the elevator descending.  Now imagine the elevator going from the basement to the top foor.   Be gentle with your voice and allow it to stretch.
  2. Deeper voices come from relaxed vocal cords.  Reduce stress in your life or just imagine yourself relaxed and stress free.  A warm beverage will also relax your vocal cords.
  3. Water.  Drink plenty of water.  As your exercise and ask more from your voice keep it lubricated. 
  4. Experiment in neutral territory.  Use your newer lower pitch voice when you are away from friends or work colleagues.  Try it when you order coffee or shopping.  It may sound unnatural to you but it may not sound that way to others.  Test it.  Incorporate it.  Learn to trust it.    

This is not to say that there is no place in the world for higher pitched voices.  On the contrary, higher pitches carry excitement and empathy.  We don’t play with a puppy using our lowest pitch!  But it may be helpful to use the lower pitches when we want to instill trust and confidence.

Experiment with this and you may increase your income.  If you do….I’ll expect a check.

 Dilbert-confident-tones

 

One last word of caution….the way a message is delivered (for example a deeper voice) may add to the effectiveness of your message (content)…but it will never replace content.   There is no substitute for your ideas.

Read More:  the full blog post from WSJ here: Deeper Voice

 

About: William Hall:
William Hall is an actor, trainer and improviser living in San Francisco, CA. He works with companies to engage and involve audiences at Trade Shows, Conferences and Training Sessions. He is a founder of BATS Improv and the author of The Playbook: Improv Games for Performers.

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2 Responses to “Deeper voice means more salary: True or False?”

  1. I don’t know that a lower voice equates to higher pay, but it does convey authority and calm under pressure. Since this really applies mostly to men, it may be a “daddy” issue. Remember though, that Maggie Thatcher was counseled to lower her vocal range in public address. So either way, it’s probably “a good thing”, as low voiced Martha Stewart would say.

  2. David Booth says:

    William: You are correct, without question. We have been approached by executives for vocal training because they know they will rise in authority, credibility and commensurate pay if their voice is in a lower register. Another case in point from the entertainment industry: when male actors move into the leading man category, they drop their voices, sometimes comically, into a quiet, meaningful, breathy range. Watch two leading men together in a film or tv series competing to have the lower voice. Doing it well also means higher pay, which supports your thesis.

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