What Makes Business Speakers Sound Charismatic?

Oliver Niebuhr, Alexander Brem, Jan Michalsky, Jana Neitsch
2020 Cadernos de Linguística  
Phonetic research on the prosodic sources of perceived charisma has taken a big step towards making a speaker's tone-of-voice a tangible, quantifiable, and trainable matter. However, the tone-of-voice includes a complex bundle of acoustic features, and a lot of parameters have not even been looked at so far. Moreover, all previous studies focused on political or religious leaders and left aside the large field of managers and CEOs in the world of business. These are the two research gaps
more » ... ed in the present study. An acoustic analysis of about 1,350 prosodic phrases from keynotes given by a more charismatic CEO (Steve Jobs) and a less charismatic CEO (Mark Zuckerberg) suggests that the same tone-of-voice settings that make political or religious leaders sound more charismatic also work for business speakers. In addition, results point to further charisma-relevant acoustic parameters related to rhythm, emphasis, pausing, and voice quality - as well as to audience type as a significant context factor. The findings are discussed with respect to implications for future perception-oriented studies and perspectives for a computer-based measurement, assessment, and training of a charismatic tone of voice.
doi:10.25189/2675-4916.2020.v1.n1.id272 fatcat:p33nrw27w5bcxmikj3jqhllz2q