Speech Patterns and the Way Others See You

August 28, 2015By: VocoVision

Do you find yourself using certain words, like “just” too often, or apologizing with nearly every sentence? Some people believe that the way you talk can be a problem, but others say it doesn’t matter. Some speech patterns, particularly the use of vocal fry, reveal interesting information about the way our speech affects how others see us.

What is Vocal Fry?

Vocal fry happens when someone speaks in a low vocal register and allows their throat to vibrate toward the end. It is commonly heard in the way the Kardashians speak. In the end, the voice sounds creaky. It’s becoming increasingly popular among young women.

Why Does it Matter?

According to a 2014 Duke study, women who use vocal fry are typically seen more negatively than men who do. As such, it can hurt their chances of getting a job. The study used both men and women, speaking the same sentence with a normal tone of voice and again with a vocal fry. Then, 400 men and 400 women were asked to rate the voices, by voting for the option they believed sounded more competent, and more worthy of hiring.

The study results determined the normal tone of voice was preferred over the vocal fry, suggesting that women who use it may be doing themselves a disservice.

Social evidence also suggests uptalking, or ending sentences with gradual increases in pitch, almost as though they are all questions, has a negative connotation. Surveys suggest that the majority of people see it as a lack of confidence and find it annoying. Uptalking, like vocal fry, could also hurt an applicant’s chances at getting hired.

What About Accents?

All of us have an accent, to some degree. We pick up the accent based on where we’re from, and the way people around us speak. In seeking to improve communication skills, some people turn to speech therapy to lessen the accent. Most of the time, there’s no real reason to completely eliminate the accent, and many of us get by just fine without reducing it. However, for some people, the accents are so heavy and thick they get in the way of other people understanding them, making communication and confidence difficult.

If you’re worried about speech patterns, such as vocal fry, uptalking, or heavy accents, speech therapy may be able to help. With a variety of exercises, you can train your voice to eliminate issues and improve communication skills. Teletherapy makes it easy to get the speech therapy done in the comfort of your home.

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