Shapes and timing in charismatic speech - Evidence from sounds and melodies

Oliver Niebuhr, Jana Thumm, Jan Michalsky


Our paper presents a phonetic analysis at the intersection of segments and prosodies. We look in detail at the previous finding that high pitch and a clear pronunciation contribute to a speaker's perceived charisma. To that end, we compare two popular CEOs, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, who are known (from informal observations and formal perception experiments alike) to be more or less charismatic speakers, respectively. The results of our between-speaker comparison suggest that high pitch not only involves the F0 level but also the timing and shaping of pitch accents, and that a clear pronunciation not only refers to a large vowel space but also to the timing and shaping of consonant patterns in terms of fewer place assimilations and clearly separated voiced and voiceless stops. Perspectives for future research and implications for the training and evaluation of charismatic speech are discussed.


 DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-118

Cite as: Niebuhr, O., Thumm, J., Michalsky, J. (2018) Shapes and timing in charismatic speech - Evidence from sounds and melodies. Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018, 582-586, DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-118.


@inproceedings{Niebuhr2018,
  author={Oliver Niebuhr and Jana Thumm and Jan Michalsky},
  title={Shapes and timing in charismatic speech - Evidence from sounds and melodies},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2018},
  pages={582--586},
  doi={10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-118},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-118}
}