Vocal strategy is the great equalizer for women candidates. New research: What we hear impacts us more than what we see!
More women candidates are running for office than ever before. The Washington Post calls 2018 “A Leap Forward for Women”, and it’s about time.
But we’ve been here before. It’s one thing to run, it’s another to win. Like many women in this country, I’m hoping to be WOWed, inspired and fired up! I want to see, or actually HEAR the excitement of positive change reflected in their campaigns. Why make that distinction?
New research tells us that what we hear effects us more deeply than what we see. Say WHAT?
According to a recent study at the University College of London, in comparing responses to video vs. audio stimuli, researchers were shocked to find that the audio prompts showed greater impact on heart rates, GSR, (galvanic skin response) and body temperature than did video. Why is that important for women candidates to know? These are the primary indicators used for tracking emotional impact.
So maybe all the uproar about what women candidates look like can finally be given the eye roll it deserves. Women running for office can make impactful choices to reveal more of who they truly are through vocal authenticity, assuming the people around them are helping in this regard. Which we can’t assume. If Hillary Clinton had had better speech coaching, she might have been a significantly stronger candidate.
I invite you to listen to these YouTube videos: Elizabeth Warren, US Senator – Massachusetts) Janet Mills, (Candidate for Governor, State of Maine) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (Candidate for Congress, New York) Terry Hayes, (Candidate for Governor, State of Maine) and try this as a test: As you listen, try to identify the emotion being communicated beneath the words, rather than simply focusing on the content itself. Not easy is it? If you can name the emotional quality, see if it’s congruent, or in sync with, the words being spoken. And lastly, if you find congruence, ask yourself what emotion this presentation inspires in you, and whether this is strong enough to garner your support.
Why is this Important???
Congruence builds trust. Much of what Donald Trump says is unsupported or even blatant lies, but his base trusts him because the anger and contempt he conveys resonates with their emotional experience.
Most of us don’t have the time, resources or capacity to figure out if a candidate is telling the truth or just spouting more fake news. But if women candidates can better convey their authenticity and vision and inspire our trust using some intentional vocal strategy, then all women will have a decidedly stronger voice in the halls of power.
*On the subject of vocal strength – that won’t happen without effective breathing technique. For more on this vital topic, check out Kelli Gardener’s excellent new e-book:
There are very qualified women running for office this year. But they’ll have a hard time winning if they can’t up the quality of their presentations. Do you know a woman running for office? I’d love to coach them on how to convey their message better. Please refer them here. And be sure to Vote in November!