Professor Rosario Signorello from the University of California at Los Angeles has conducted a study proving that voice is one of the key features of a charismatic person. He also told how the voice should sound for the speaker to be convincing.
Dr. Signorello believes that we first of all pay attention to the voice when assessing how charismatic people are. Then there are secondary factors: what the person says, the body language, the appearance, and so on. After analyzing the voices of the people speaking different languages, the researchers concluded that the voice of each of them has the same patterns.
Signorello analyzed the voices of presidents, politicians, and CEOs of large companies. He claims that the voices of Apple CEOs Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have the same patterns as the voice of French President Francois Hollande. However, the same can be said about other politicians, whose voices were subjected to the test. They included former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian politicians Umberto Bossi and Luigi de Magistris.
To eliminate the influence of what the speakers said, Signorello played the recorded speech on a speech synthesizer. The frequency, intensity, duration and other characteristics of the voice remained unchanged.
Then the researchers asked 107 women and 26 men to assess people’s voices with the help of 67 positive and negative adjectives. For example, “convincing”, “charming” or “egocentric” and “threatening”.
Rosario Signorello noticed the same pattern in all three languages (English, French, and Italian). The voice of charismatic people was lower, and they used to widen its range when speaking in public.
The professor explains that a low voice is a sign of dominance and power. People are more likely to subconsciously obey the owner of the low voice. In the second part of the experiment, Signorello artificially raised the voice of Francois Hollande, and the respondents’ evaluation has changed for the worse.
Signorello believes that the charismatic voice can be trained. Singers and actors train their voices to achieve a higher or lower tone. Those who want to become a leader need to do the same.
This study deals only with the voices of males. Next, the professor is about to conduct a similar study of female voices. He believes that the range of voice affects the charisma of both sexes. However, he does not claim the same thing about the low pitch of the voice.