What makes a voice sound more attractive? A husky Lauren Bacall or a high pitched Marilyn? We practice conversation and preen ourselves before dates; but do we focus enough on our tone?
Creating a seductive voice
Both men and women use their voice to express sexual interest. Although Psychology Today note studies suggesting men prefer women with higher pitched voices, women tend to lower their voice pitch when trying to sound sexy and when speaking to their partners on the phone. When chatting to an alluring stranger however, females do make their voice pitches higher.
According to Science Daily, research led by Sally Hughes, Ph.D., reveals men struggle to make their voices sexier. The researchers believe women are more attuned to how their voices sound, because they’re aware that men place greater emphasis on attractiveness. While men aren’t the best at attempting a sexual pitch, they are better at knowing how to speak more confidently, which leads to attracting more women.
BBC shared results from a study, led by Katarzyna Pisanski, who confirms men often prefer women to speak with a higher pitch, while women usually favour men with deeper voices. This ties to conventional soft and sweet feminine vs. deep and strong masculine.
So, how do we create these sounds?
Website Pen & the Pad recommend smiling slightly when you talk – this elevates face muscles which typically encourage a higher speaking pitch. (I did this myself after typing, and it really does work!). To make your voice sound deeper, Wingman advocates meditation and exercise like yoga to learn how to breathe properly.
At an old writing job, I was interviewing a fairly unremarkable man: simple suit, no striking features. But then he opened his mouth; not only French – husky and strong too. I’d never heard such deepness. Within minutes of him talking, I found he had a certain je ne sais quoi.
Besides our tone, accents can make our voice sound more attractive. Countries with cultural stereotypes we admire: British intelligence, French romance etc., generally add to a voice’s magnetism. Maybe that’s why many of us enjoy holiday flings abroad.
Maintaining health is another way to increase your voice’s charisma. A Harvard article says lifestyle can affect our speech: the habit of clearing your throat while speaking, dehydration, and not using your voice regularly, can make a negative impact.
Make your voice sound more attractive day-to-day
If I was to write how I speak, my sentences would start and finish with “um”, “err”, “I guess” and “so, yeah”. Not the most fascinating things to say, yet popular conversation fillers.
Learning to talk well is an important skill. In everyday life, we continually change our dialogue and sound based on who we’re talking to. Imagine speaking to your friends the same way you converse with your boss, or telephone marketers. Despite our ability to instantly edit our speech, when do we contribute time to improve our performance?
Good speech reflects confidence, and confident people talk precisely and clearly. They don’t murmur, use too many conversation fillers (err and um), and they neither talk too fast or too slow. A high-pitched voice may gain male admirers, but it will do little to gain respect from job interviewers and fellow co-workers. Whenever I’m nervous, my voice begins to mimic Minnie Mouse, which funnily enough, doesn’t come across powerful.
I’ve noticed voices can demonstrate dominance. In school, popular kids weren’t quiet. We each knew who they were and what they thought – you didn’t have to be friends with them to hear their opinions. In public, my confident sister will happily share how she’s feeling at any place and given moment. She’ll be on a packed train talking normally; I’ll be whispering responses back.
7 Things you can do
- To make your voice sound more attractive, enunciate your words. Bustle says enunciating each word you speak can make you appear more self-assured. To practice, I believe it helps to read books out loud. Slowly go over sentences to break the habit of mumbling.
- Bustle also advise to slow down your breathing. Breathing slower can help the pace at which you talk, making you sound calmer.
- Try to avoid using conversation fillers – it’s okay to take a pause. During an editorial interview, I ran out of questions to ask the person I was interviewing. My brain turned to mush; anxiety pricked my senses. Thanks to adrenaline, I sprung to action and asked for permission to take a pause to go over what we’d just discussed. I then found a new direction to take. This approach worked much nicer than trying to “well – err – hmm” my way out of it.
- Become aware of your voice pitch. As you’re going about your day, try to notice when your voice goes up. Perhaps on a Skype call to your boss, or when booking in a doctor’s appointment. You may want to record yourself speaking, to recognise particular patterns. You’ll likely surprise yourself with the many speech habits you make.
- Try to relax yourself. Meditation and yoga can provide stress relief before a big presentation or important meeting. When you’re stressed, you can speak faster which could show you’re feeling uncomfortable.
- Research breathing exercises on YouTube. Learning to breathe properly can be crucial to how you sound. Listening to Ted Talks to hear how successful talkers speak.
- Ensure you hold good posture. Stand up straight, keep your shoulders back and head slightly lifted. Represent confidence throughout your body to gain it through voice.
Have you ever thought about making your voice sound more attractive? Do you notice bad habits in your speech that you’d like to change? Find out more by reading: Why Are We Sexually Attracted to Accents.