The way we sound matters. A lot.
Take a trip to a local mall and listen to a group of young women talk. The annoying speech patterns of vocal fry and uptalk will be easy to spot. What exactly are these vocal trends that are hurting the careers of so many women?
Let’s take a look at them separately:
Vocal fry is speaking with a growl at the back of the throat.
The result is a creaky, low, fluttery, sizzling sounding voice (imagine bacon frying on a pan). It’s not professional. Women who don't speak with a vocal fry are seen as more educated, competent, and professional.
Here comes the scary part. The chances are very high that vocal fry has slipped into your speech patterns. Why? It’s contagious!
No kidding. Pay very close attention when you’re talking with a woman who uses vocal fry. Chances are high you will mimic her tone to some degree.
As with any good 10-step program, the first step to recovery is to become aware of the need to change. Still not convinced? Check Faith Salie's video on how vocal fry is damaging women's careers.
Now, let’s move on to uptalk?
Uptalk happens when your voice goes up at the end of a sentence. This annoying habit makes everything sound like a question? Uptalk leaves the impression that the speaker doesn’t know what she is talking about? Perhaps, she isn't even sure of her own name… “Hi, I’m Brittany?”.
Uptalk kills credibility. This habit comes across as asking for validation, or leaves the impression that the speaker is completely unsure of the statement she just made.
Allison Shapira (President of Global Public Slow peaking LLC) does a great job demonstrating what uptalk sounds like and offers tips on eliminating it in her YouTube video, Uptalk in Public Speaking.
Don’t speak like a Kardashian. Eliminate vocal fry and uptalk to increase professional power, influence, and promotability.