The acoustic fingerprint of a charismatic voice - Initial evidence from correlations between long-term spectral features and listener ratings

Oliver Niebuhr, Radek Skarnitzl, Lea Tylečková


What makes a charismatic speaker? The present study extends this question into the prosodic dimension of voice quality. We analyzed various F0, LTAS and LTF long-term spectral characteristics from 12 L2 speakers of English who were recorded while giving entrepreneurial speeches. The results of the acoustic analysis were correlated with indirect judgments of the entrepreneurs' charismatic performances by 98 listeners. The correlations we found replicate previous findings in that a larger F0 range and a higher/lower F0 level are beneficial for a male/female speaker's perceived charisma. Moreover, LTAS settings that are indicative of a fuller and less breathy voice also led to higher speaker charisma ratings. The same applies to LTF settings that are indicative of a larger body or vocal-tract size. The findings are discussed with respect to their implications for measuring and training charismatic speech, traditional rhetoric statements and the definition of charisma.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-73

Cite as: Niebuhr, O., Skarnitzl, R., Tylečková, L. (2018) The acoustic fingerprint of a charismatic voice - Initial evidence from correlations between long-term spectral features and listener ratings. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 359-363, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-73.


@inproceedings{Niebuhr2018,
  author={Oliver Niebuhr and Radek Skarnitzl and Lea Tylečková},
  title={The acoustic fingerprint of a charismatic voice - Initial evidence from correlations between long-term spectral features and listener ratings},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={359--363},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-73},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-73}
}