Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Voicing concerns

As a business psychologist, I get asked to contribute to a lot of articles in the media - on topics from job hunting and leading teams, to dealing with a bad boss and office politics.

So a couple of weeks ago a journalist from the Guardian asked me to do a telephone interview on the topic of voice - how the tone, speed, pitch and even accent of your voice can affect how others treat you - from whether they enjoy spending time being with you to whether they trust you and want to promote you.

I'm a big believer that your voice often says more about you than the words you choose. In a presentation, a monotonous voice communicates a lack of passion. In a business meeting, a loud and fast voice could be taken as arrogant. In an interview, a quiet voice communicates shyness. But no one ever thinks that they have the monotonous or arrogant or shy voice - it's always other people who sound boring or full of themselves or nervous.

I had plenty more to say to the journalist - we talked for about 10 minutes. But my eventual contribution to the article ended up being chopped down to two tiny paragraphs.

Oh well.

Anyway, the end result is here.