Forget drive, passion and education—a deep baritone voice may now be the key to a small-business owner's success. According to a study at Duke University, male CEOs with deeper voices are perceived by others to be better business leaders. As a result, they make more money, grow bigger companies and last longer at the top.
The study results revealed that "for every 22.1 hertz [about a 1 percent change] a CEO’s voice decreased, their [sales] increased by $440 million and personal compensation increased by $187,000 per year." This happens because men with a deeper voice seem to demand more respect and authority. In a group gathering, loud and deep sounding voices make people pause, listen and act on what is being said. (This is one thing women don't have to worry about, since for them, higher rather than lower pitched voices are more "highly valued" by business leaders.)
Want to sound more like James Earl Jones (and less like Mike Tyson) to help increase your chances of success? Without going through puberty again, here's how you can train your own voice to be deeper:
Get more sleep. Sleep deprived people are more likely to have hoarse, uneven and weak voices. A minimum of seven hours of sleep every night is suggested to help you have a deep and controlled vocal tone. It's also important to sleep these seven hours on the same schedule.
Straighten up. People who keep their chin up and their head straight have better control over projecting their voice. This prevents any constriction in the throat that may cause a distortion when speaking.
Stop yelling. This will strain a voice over a long period of time. Alleviate any strain on vocal cords by projecting from the front of the mouth instead of from the throat. By keeping calm and speaking slowly, people can control their voice better and make the sounds they desire at the pitch they desire.
Don't smoke. This is bad for the lungs and throat, forcing the vocal cords to put more pressure on both of these in order to perform optimally. People who smoke over a long period of time can develop a raspy voice. Any breathing problems will naturally affect the voice as well.
Lose weight. Vocal cords are a living organ just like the heart. It's affected by the general health of the body. Forget the stereotypical male opera singer who is typically overweight. There is no biological link between a baritone voice and being large.
Practice. Like an actor learning an accent, anyone can train himself to have a deeper voice. Repeat the same word and gradually lower the voice. Once this is well practiced, expand by reading an entire paragraph or page in the same lower voice. Practice this method until it becomes a more "natural" speaking voice.
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