ScienceDaily (May 14, 2011) — Want to convince someone to do something? A new University of Michigan study has some intriguing insights drawn from how we speak.
The study, presented May 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, examines how various speech characteristics influence people's decisions to participate in telephone surveys. But its findings have implications for many other situations, from closing sales to swaying voters and getting stubborn spouses to see things your way.
And what it all comes down to is The 'Goldilocks' concept; not too hot, not too cold. Talk too fast and they think you're trying to 'fast talk' them, you silver tongued devil, and too slow and they'll think you're an idiot. The ideal speed is about 3.5 words per second, so get your stopwatches out.
When it comes to pitch it doesn't make a lot of difference, unless you're a man with a one of those high pitch (squeaky?) voices, people don't like that, they like their men to sound like Orson Welles.
As for pausing; pausing is good. If you don't pause people get suspicious, but if you pause a lot they don't seem to mind. The ideal is about 4 or 5 pauses a minute.
So try it out next time you want to get your way and let me know what happens.
Full story here:
University of Michigan (2011, May 14). Persuasive speech: The way we, um, talk sways our listeners