Voiceovers by Gregory Houser
A man, a martini, and a lot of microphones.: The Power of One's Voice

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Power of One's Voice

Here in Philadelphia, we've heard a lot of powerful voices. You've got the impassioned speeches of the American Revolution, some of the most famous theatres in the country (FYI: Philly has the oldest theatre in the country), and a remarkably rich history of music and broadcasting).

We're pretty aware of the power that one's voice can have.

As a voice actor, as any voice actor can tell you, the use of one's voice can bring a power to the words that often doesn't exist on paper, at least not on their own. Now I recently said that it's not just about the voice, and I stand behind that comment. Turns out that I was more right than I knew.

There's a report that just came out from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B stating something that I've been saying for a while. There is an inherent power with what we choose to do with our speech that can affect those around us. Most voice artists out there should know this by now, but if not, the study found that the affect of a mother's voice has the same chemical and emotional affect on a child as if they had made physical contact.

Think about that for a second. As far as the subjects in the study were concerned, merely hearing the voice of a concerned parent had the same affect on them as if they had been physically comforted.

That's pretty powerful stuff if you ask me. I've always used mental imagery to help determine my choices with copy. This included the usual who, what, where, when, why, etc. One of the most important for me has always been "to whom am I speaking", and I know from experience the affect it can have on my delivery. However, I never once thought that there was the potential to have so profound an affect as to actually alter one's biological chemistry with nothing more than the power of my speech.

A good synopsis of the study can be found here for those who are interested in learning a bit more.

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Anonymous Mackenzie De La torre said...

I agree with you that a mothers voice can have a profound positive affect on their children. When used incorrectly in can have a negative affect as well. How we speak is indeed very powerful.


May 18, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

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