Posts tagged ‘voice series’

Voice Series: Who Is The More Talkative Gender?

It’s the age-old question. Wh0 is the more talkative gender? Hollywood depicts women as the chatterboxes, constantly going on and on about something that appears to be mundane and unnecessary. While the men give long speeches that are supposed to move nations and change policies and talk about sports over beer. So who of the two sexes talks more? Perhaps it’s neither, perhaps we both talk the same amount, let’s investigate.

In 2007, a study was published in Science Magazine that had participants wear voice recorders. 396 participants participated in this study to analyze the sounds and words that were voiced from each gender. The daily word uses were extrapolated from the tapes, and the data gathered showed that men and women both spoke an average of 16,000 words a day.

Here’s another interesting fact:

Psychologist Matthias Mehl of the University of Arizona says the three top talkers in the study — uttering up to 47,000 words a day — were all men. So was the most taciturn subject, who spoke only 700 words a day, on average.

So it seems as if the national myth that women are more talkative then men is completely false. According to a study published in the Daily Mail, the differences that determine the level of chatter between the two genders stem from the difference reasons in which men and women speak, and what they are most vocal about.

For instance, one of the reasons men may be more, or just as, talkative is a reflection on their need to control conversations, especially around women. Men also have a tendency to talk more about technology or sports for instance, while women speak out more on relationships and the occasional gossip.

The idea that men clam up? Not the case it seems! Men are more likely to talk more in certain social situations – with groups of people, or their significant others, even strangers. Women on the other hand chat a lot more when they’re with their friends or with children.

So it really has nothing to do with biology, in fact the study concluded that it was more cultural influences that determined how much we speak. When it comes to nature versus nurture, nurture appears to play a key role in our daily verbal interactions.

Through a little bit of digging, we’ve been able to dispel a bit of an age-old myth, popularized mostly through movies and mass media. In fact, there is no such thing as a more talkative gender. As a species, we both like to chatter just the same albeit on different topics and in different scenarios.  Just know that next time your wife tunes out when you talk about sports, or when his eyes seem to glaze over when you’re cooing about your co-workers newborn, it’s not because you are talking too much but rather that your talking may be off-gender!

February 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Voice Series – How Voice is the Natural Next Wave in the Personal Network

Our voice is completely unique and natural to us. It transfers our emotion, our energy and our intention when we communicate. One small inflection in our tone sends a completely different message. Over the last 15 years, we have sacrificed the quality of our correspondence for convenience with the growth of asynchronous text communication like email and SMS. However, as our world becomes completely built on the Internet, it only makes sense that voice will come full circle and re-emerge as the next wave of online communication to enrich and improve our conversations. It’s universal, intuitive, emotional, and provides more clarity. The question is, where and how will it emerge and where will it make sense in our digital world? We think it’s in the Personal Network.

As of 2012, 71% of cell phone users preferred texting over calling.

So in such a text-driven mobile landscape devoid of verbal communication, where will voice make a comeback? Everyone thinks about Siri when you talk about voice and technology. We are talking about voice specifically in the context of correspondence. Technically, Siri is a machine who does not require any insight into your feelings, so it doesn’t qualify! But look at the big guys like Google introducing Google Voice, Microsoft acquiring Skype and even Facebook testing voice in their Messaging App. It doesn’t seem like they really know yet exactly where it’s going but they know they want a piece of the verbal action as we shift the balance of traffic from telephone networks to social networks.

Looking across the social mobile landscape, new voice-centric apps are popping up every month that are pairing voice with pictures, replacing text messaging with voice, or adding voice to social networks. It’s clear that something is brewing on the mobile Internet but, with the exception of perhaps HeyTell, nothing has really caught fire. On one hand, it adds back exactly what is lacking in text communication, emotional context. On the other hand, it often lessens the convenience of being able to scan conversations, chat during boring work meetings, or be semi-anonymous in the public social networking arena. It’s really only in the Personal Network, for the average person, where quality trumps convenience.

Personal Network? What’s that? It is, according to Robin Dunbar, evolutionary psychologist and social network guru, the number of friends that an average human tends to socialize in – specifically, this number of friends is 150. Sound small? It’s quite large actually, according to Dunbar. Here is what he has to say:

“The reason we’re able to function in so much larger groupings than our primate cousins…is because, tens of thousands of years ago, we taught ourselves to talk. Whereas baboons bond by taking turns picking each others’ nits, we have rhetoric and gossip and half-time speeches, not to mention singing and storytelling and jokes, to bring and hold us together. Language is how humans used their big brains to get to 150.”

Since the Caveman’s system of grunts and cave drawings, we have evolved to find the best and most efficient way to communicate, carry our voices, and spread our messages. In fact, we are still evolving. Adding voice back to personalize online communication is the next step.

Before the invention of cell phones and the Internet, the telephone was the leading method of personal connection. Before we could put a face to the voice, families gathered around their radios and listened to their favourite voice personalities. Shown pictures of some of the most powerful people in history and it’s their voice that plays back in your mind. Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr., Charlie Chaplin (kidding – just wanted to see if you were paying attention!), Ghandi, Barack Obama, Michael Jackson, and even Hilter are all voices that you can most likely identify within seconds of hearing them. Voice is our own unique and personal stamp. The interesting thing is that because it is so personal, we really only connect with those voices of people that we care about (your Personal Network) or that are familiar and aspirational (celebrities, singers, actors, teachers, politicians).


So basically, unless you’re a close friend or family member, Lady Gaga or Michelle Obama, millions of people aren’t going to take the time to listen to what you have to say. Your family, friends, sports team, co-workers – they are the Personal Network and community who are motivated to listen. We think voice communication is for corresponding with those who want to listen, not just for sharing blindly out into the public social space where it simply turns into noise for anyone outside your circle of 150.

Just as we function and survive in our social circles, to survive in today’s social networks, you have to use certain tools to engage and capture attention to distinguish yourself, add your unique stamp. While it’s the combination of text, digital photos and video that are really what is piling up on the world’s servers at a rate faster than bunnies can multiply, people are increasingly finding ways to re-integrate voice back into their everyday. Which says there is actually hope for the triumph of ‘quality’ over ‘convenience’ and reversal of the stat that Facebook released last year that said on an average day,

57% of people talk more to people online than in person

It’s more now no doubt, and we find that slightly depressing!

*What makes me happy? Seeing the same 2 little old Italian men, in their weekend finest, meet every Saturday morning at my local coffee bar at 8am to engage in heated discussions…with lots of hand-motioning of course!

Dunbar also states that we have an innermost circle of friends of about 3 to 5. Chances are you maintain that closeness with those 5 people because you talk frequently. Maybe not face to face, but with a phone call at the very least. Think of your 5 people, they’re close with you because you’ve forged an emotional connection with them. You’ve debated, fought, laughed, had deep conversations about life, annoyed each other, and learned from each other. You actually have moments where you suddenly think, ‘I haven’t heard their voice in a long time.’ Almost like it’s an essential element of your being.

He goes on to say that that innermost circle is included in a group of about 12 to 15, those whose death would be devastating to us. And then comes 50, those friends who you see on a fairly regular basis, who you would invite to your 40th birthday bash. And of course, then the magic 150. Those you would send a Christmas card to (if you ever got around to it!). That’s where voice fits. Very rarely will you ever get meaningful conversations from text, and studies show that when something’s important, people do in fact pick up the phone to deliver their words in an emotional context. That’s how true connections are made and strengthened. To maintain those connections, to hold us together, as Dunbar says, humans have voice. ‘Human’ is making a comeback.

Have you tried adding voice back into your everyday correspondence? Share your comments or tweet at us: Lynne McEachern (@spoketech) or Leeann Yee (@leeannyee)

February 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Voice Series: Is Social Media Causing The Younger Generation To Lose Their Voice?

When it comes to technology, the difference between Gen X and Gen Y is but one thing – Gen X is technologically adept, Gen Y is tech-savvy. While the younger generation may be able to trump their parents any day in a game of Angry Birds or sending more texts in a minute, one thing that social media may have taken away from Gen Y is their individual voices.

Consider this; a study reported by The Mail Online did a study that makes most of us out to be internet-obessed, because there’s a growing trend that we’re spending so much time online that we sometimes go up to 48 hours with out interacting with another human being. That’s 2 full days of barely talking to another person! That literally translates to a loss of voice.

It used to be that if you wanted to give  your input on a hot topic discussed on the radio or a TV program you’d call in and physically talk to someone on the other end. Nowadays, we tweet in comments, write posts on Facebook, and scroll down to see what everyone else has said. If our opinions don’t match theirs we may or may not think twice about posting something.

In comparison to previous generations, Gen Y prefers communicating through emails and texts versus talking to someone face to face. Keeping conversation flowing instead of being able to stop, pause and think before replying puts a damper on communication and being able to voice your thoughts at any given moment.

Then there’s always the evolution of ‘texting language’, where two people – based on how well they know each other ‘in real life’ – are able to tell what the other person at the other end of the phone is saying through a text message.

So tell us, where do you stand on this debate?

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January 16, 2013 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Voice Series: 5 Reasons You Should Call Instead Of Text (or Tweet or FB Chat)

It’s been less than a decade since Facebook emerged, changing the face of communication as we know it today. Nine years ago (FB launched in 2004) our collective voices dwindled, and instead of hearing the other person’s voice through our phones, we saw text on our computer screens. Then technology took a somewhat backwards turn by introducing voice online – FaceTime, Skype became more popular – so we could go back to the original voice to voice connection!

In this episode of our Voice Series, we’re comparing voice vs. text, and we think voice rules! Here are our top 5 reasons why:

People identify with voice better than with text

You’ve seen it in countless movies before, expecting parents-to-be are always talking to an ever growing belly, playing Mozart to potentially produce a mini genius, turning on TSN to calm a kicking little one, well, there’s a reason for that! When your voice is heard over a long period of time, they begin to bond with you. It doesn’t matter what you talk about really, it’s just getting your child to recognize  and respond to your voice. Eventually just the simple sound of your voice elicits an involuntary emotional response – safety, love…it just sounds like home.

You want to stand out? Call.

According to TIME Magazine, “Americans ages 18-29 send and receive an average of nearly 88 text messages per day, compared to 17 phone calls.” The older we get, the less we communicate, and the less energy we have to put into reaching out in any form. So the next time you catch yourself thinking ‘we never talk anymore’ about someone, pick up the phone and give them a call. They’ll remember you took the time out to call, and you’ll remember when you last spoke!

You’ll build a better relationship with yourself and others

Not to get too scientific on you all, but one of the biggest worries developmental psychologists have when it comes to texting, especially in young people, is that it inhibits and slows down the full development of interpersonal skills. For adults, most of those skills are innate by now, so it’s not as worrisome. But saying “I’m sorry” in person is so much more powerful and meaningful than seeing those two words on your screen.

Less miscommunication

It happens to the best of us. We’re scrolling down a text and we miss that one crucial line that tells us when we want to meet up, then you inevitably reply with a “so what time are we meeting?” And either they’ll just repeat themselves or say something along the lines of “scroll up.” When we text, not only may your eyes just glaze over and read wrong, but things such as tone and emphasis on words are completely lost in translation over text. Now we all know what happens with miscommunications: hurt feelings, incorrect items procured at the grocery store, business deals gone awry.

It’s a natural mood lifter

Multiple studies have shown that the simple act of calling someone can lift your mood. You’ll laugh, you’ll smile and that creates endorphins that will stimulate our brain and get you ready to take on the world again. Call your mom, your best friend, your other half, whoever it is that makes you smile. You’ll feel better, studies say so.

There you have it. Now go talk to someone!


Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

January 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Voice Series – What Morgan Freeman Sounds Like To Morgan Freeman

A few days ago we explored the reasons behind why we generally don’t like the sound of our own voices. Quite simply, it’s a foreign sound to us because we rarely hear our own voices outside of our own bodies.

As we continued exploring the woes of listening to ourselves played back to us over voicemails or random recordings our friends surely subject us to, we began to wonder – do famous people like the way they sound? Is it foreign to them? Surely Mariah Carey likes the way she sounds.

Then it hit us. A celebrity whose voice everyone loves. Morgan Freeman. Aha! Right? Listen:

He’s narrated countless documentaries, was probably the only person who could pull off playing and sounding like God (watch Bruce Almighty if you haven’t yet!), he’s even narrated Obama’s election campaign.

That is how much everyone loves and responds to his voice. That’s pretty powerful.

But what makes his voice so unique? Why does it resonate with us? And what can we learn from him?

His voice is calm, authoritative, rich, and mellow at the same time. To himself however, he may sound completely different, or even better.

A little while ago, the man himself revealed his tips on how to make our own voices sound better. And surprisingly, it’s very simple:

  • Yawn a lot. Why? It relaxes your throat muscles. When you relax those muscles your voice becomes lower. The lower your voice, the better it sounds.

Simple no?

The fact that his spoken voice can be lent to any topic has even spawned ideas such as a Morgan Freeman voice app:

We think it’s a mighty fine idea. Maybe he can even lend his voice to all our Spoken Photo’s, we wonder how that would turn out …

So, are there any voices that you love?


Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

January 4, 2013 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Why Don’t We Like The Sound Of Our Own Voice?

Raise your hand if you like the sound of your own voice. Chances are, most of you are sitting behind your computer with your hands pressed firmly on the keyboard, shaking your head saying ‘not me!’ Don’t worry, you’re not the only one!

Being a company that looks to bring our world closer together and more personal by hearing your loved one’s voice from across the country, we decided to examine a popular question – why don’t we like the sound of our own voices?

There’s a fairly simple explanation for why we’d rather not hear ourselves through a recording; we’re not used to hearing our own voices. It may sound weird, after all we talk and communicate every day don’t we? The difference is, when we hear our voices played back to us on a recording we’re hearing our voices outside of our own bodies and skulls, and that’s something we’re not exactly used to.

Your own skull provides great acoustics for you. So the way you hear yourself sound every day is going to be rather different than the voice you hear coming back at you through an answering machine since it’s been muffled by background noises and odd filters.

Ever notice how in recording studios and radio stations the musician or DJ always has a filter in front of their mic? Its to filter out as much of the noises around us so the voices we hear on records are the most pure they can be.

The good news is, if you greatly want to improve the sound of your voice, it’s a very responsive muscle that given the attention, can get better with age.

The first place to start? Sing! Not only does singing release endorphins which will naturally make your voice come across in its best form, when we sing, we really start to use our voices, and that’s what your voice really wants from you.

So next time you sing in the shower and wonder why you can’t sound like Adele, remember – with every note you belt you’re actually improving your voice!


Like what you see? Follow me @leeannyee for more updates!

December 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm 1 comment

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