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Your Voice Is Closely Linked To Emotion

15th October 2018

Voice Tip/ Mini Blog

Have you ever tried hiding sadness over the telephone, only to have a good friend immediately ask 'What's wrong?'. 

Yes, our emotions give us away most of the time. Face-to-face, our good friends are likely to tell that we are upset, but we may be able to hide it more in other face-to-face interactions. Our emotions affect the way that we move, sit, stand, walk, talk and in the way we communicate with others. Our muscles tighten or release in reponse to the various chemicals entering or leaving our bodies and the tension, or released sounds, are also apparent in our voice. In particular, over the telephone when we cannot see the other person, we naturally tend to pay more attention to our auditory senses to 'listen' to the other person and we are far more likely to pick up cues on how the other person is feeling, even strangers. 

A great example of how we 'hear' emotion, is to think of young babies and their parent/primary care givers. The baby can be in another room fast asleep, wake up and cry and the parent/carer knows what that specific cry means;

  • Turn me over (I'm stuck on my front!)
  • Help! I need a nappy change fast!
  • I want to be fed!
  • Attention! I need attention, just a hug will do!
  • I don't feel well!

Of course it takes some time for them to learn the babies' specific cries! But to the parent's/carer's friends, the cry would need be figured out by just going through a checklist if they were babysitting! However, the point is the same nevertheless. We 'listen' far more to the vocal qualities (eg. pitch, tone, loudness, prosody) when quickly working out a babies' cry from another room, or speaking to someone over the telephone, because we don't have visual cues. Our auditory senses become stronger, we naturally gain a better understanding of the emotion of the other person and we are able to respond in a more empathetic way. Of course, face-to-face interactions are preferable in many situations and we can hone our communication skills to be able to really listen to those we speak with and develop improved interaction skills.

If you would like to enhance your communication skills, get in touch if you would like more specific help.

For more information on the services I offer in relation to this or other posts, please contact me to book your Voice Work Consultation. 

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